Aethos, I still don't agree. Gold farmers are going to be challenged in corning the market due to community.
If gold farmers insist on raising AH prices, most players will turn to guilds to buy materials, and gold farmers will go broke buying up materials and listing them at prices no one will pay because they have cheaper alternatives.
The problem with your assessment, IMHO, is it relies on gold farmers getting a monopoly over non-gold resources which just can't happen. Everyone is always free to gather every type of resource, and if nothing is selling on the AH because prices are being driven up, people will find other markets such as in-game chat or through their guild.
Even when AH prices aren't inflated it's still easy to make deals outside of auctions. I sold plenty of items in chat in WoW for the exact same price I would have listed them at on the AH.
While gold farmers can certainly inflate prices due to inflation, that gets back to my original point. With effective money sinks, you mitigate the damage of inflation. People who wind up buying gold don't just turn around and spend it in the AH, they use it at vendors and other NPC's that remove the money from the game.
Prices increasing has to do with the total available funds in the game world increasing. It reduces the value of the currency without actually increasing the currency you get from quests, from mob drops, or from selling stuff to vendors. That's how gold farmers damage economies, by letting that currency build up.
When effective money sinks encourage players to remove their money from the economy inflation is mitigated and prices will start to stagnate. They might stagnate higher than the developers had originally intended, but that gets back to my point about an alt. I didn't transfer money to my alt and still managed to save up 3 times as much as I had my first go around.
Good points, but I'm getting at the fact that people will still buy at the higher price....it's just the people that have time to farm all day and "make a living" so to speak, in-game. I only get about 2 hours a day, maybe.
I just ground out enchanting in WoW and had to spend weeks harvesting materials because our maket is so overly-inflated that only those with very big pockets can participate. (prices on my server place maxing out enchanting from 0-525 around 25,000gold). I agree that people will find other routes if they can't afford to use the market, which I was forced to, but how lame is that?! Granted, there's no real fix to the issue, but that's why it's a pain in the butt, and why people cry about it.