Crafting is only dead if you specialize in crystals, speeders and BiS-only item modifications (2.0 change). I just got into crafting heavily, mostly to gear my own alts, but I have found success selling many, many mid level green, blue, and purple modification items (hint: advanced skill barrel does very well, with all those folks leveling snipers and drooling over thier 2.0 fotm-ness), stims, augments and kits, and yes, even orange moddable gear. I've sold recently, for instance, at least 10 marauder's boots at an average of 7k each with excess mats. I know, this is not making me rich in each sale, but when you sell a lot of items in the 5 to 20k price range it starts to add up.
I do have quite a few alts, with maxed crafting and gathering skills, and I do have the opportunity to farm a lot of mats to feed my more valuable crafting skills, but... The idea that crafting is dead it just isn't true imo.
Interesting. With the cheap social and adaptive gear, I did not think that the low level oranges would still be selling that well. I have the silliest looking companions at 10 since they are all dressed in social gear which I replace with my own crafted oranges (or drops) as they progress.
You are right in that the 5 to 20k sales do add up, especially when the mats are cheap and easy to obtain so there is low overhead.
I will take a look at the barrels. My armstech crafts for my (and family's) companions and alts, and does very well with his gathering skills (bio and dip), but has not crafted anything for sale in a long time. I had a couple of extra vibroknives (beautiful purples) recently and could not give them away.