There are many people who feel that the current model of loot distribution (primarily random drops) in raiding is flawed. They feel that players are at the mercy of random numbers, and that it is very easy to be unlucky and miss out on a specific piece of loot (Dragonspine Trophy, for example). The proposed solution is that we should move to a more tokenized model of loot, like how Tier gear is distributed.
There are also other people who feel that crafting is not utilized enough in the endgame. They feel that crafting is pointless, as you inevitably replace crafted gear with raid loot.
This raises an interesting idea (which to be honest, has probably been proposed before): What if all endgame loot was crafted?
The way I envision it working is that each tier would have 5 or so epic materials. Bosses would drop a couple recipes and about 3 different bind-on-pickup mats. Every player that killed the boss would get these materials. The recipes in each tier would only use the tier materials to create items. The last boss in each instance might drop a special material that was only used in a few really good recipes. Essentially, crafting materials become the tokens/Badges, and player crafters become the gear vendors.
This solves a few problems. It gets crafters more involved in the endgame. All your gear will get that <Made By X> tag, which I find neat. Crafters get to forge every piece of loot. It makes getting gear more fluid, as different bosses could drop the same components. You still need to progress, as certain materials might only be available on certain bosses. There's still an element of randomness in the recipe drops, but because you only need the first drop, the effect of that randomness is muted. Worst comes to worst, you can go outside the guild to find a crafter.
You'd have to play with the numbers necessary for each recipe to get a good rate at which people could gear up, but I'm sure it could be done.
Now there are some problems with this model. Immediate gratification is not present. You kill a boss, and you don't get loot immediately. You do get some new recipes, which might serve the immediate "oooh, that's neat" aspect of loot. Players would need to do a little more research into what's available when gearing up. You can't equip new gear right away, you have to obtain it out of raid. Though with gemming and enchanting requirements, this is pretty much standard unless it is a massive upgrade.
The bigger problem is that if the materials or the crafted gear is Bind-on-Equip, then that will drag raid drops into the economy. One of the big things about WoW is that the top end stuff is not buyable (most of the time), and generally has to be earned by the player participating in activities. If it was all Bind-on-Equip, then that might have negative effects on the game, with increased gold farming, buying, and selling. It would make your farming prowess a very large factor in how well you are geared. I don't think that is a good idea, and I'm pretty sure all the tanks and healers will concur.
In reality, item crafting in WoW is missing an action. Currently, you can:
1. Make a Bind-on-Pickup item for yourself.
2. Make a Bind-on-Equip item for anyone.
It would be really useful if there was a third option:
3. Make a Bind-on-Pickup item for someone else.
If you think about it, this is essentially what a NPC token vendor does. You give them a Bind-on-Pickup material component, and they give you a Bind-on-Pickup item. For this idea to work well, you really need to be able to replicate that same transaction with a player crafter.
Perhaps the solution is a crafting window, like the trade window. The buyer puts her materials (and fee/tip!) on her side, the crafter chooses the recipe on his side, hits the craft button, and the item is deposited in the buyer's inventory.
I think craftable raid gear is an interesting solution to the problem of unlucky raid drop distribution. We get the excitement of random drops in the recipes, while mitigating randomness because only the first recipe drop is important. We get the consistency of badges and tokens in the material drops. We get the variety of loot in that certain recipes or materials only drop from certain bosses. We make crafting an integral part of endgame without overpowering it. Pretty much get to kill two birds with one stone, as I see it.