One of the trends I really dislike in modern WoW is the idea that raiding characters should have two crafting professions and zero gathering professions. This is done because the crafting profession perks are generally more powerful and flexible than the perks granted by the gathering professions.
I don't really play alts, so having a gathering alt is out. What I like best about crafting is the "self-sufficiency" of it. Of making your own gear or items from scratch. And this current trend cuts directly against that.
I was talking to a friend, Tharok, and we were discussing crafting in Rift. In Rift, each crafting profession requires materials from two gathering professions. For example, Armorsmithing mainly requires materials from Mining, but some recipes also use leather from Butchering. Rift does give you 3 profession slots, so you can take both gathering professions. Or you could take 2 crafting professions (like Armorsmithing and Weaponsmithing) and the main gathering profession (Mining). Then you would just buy extra materials from the Auction House when necessary.
In any case, Tharok made a suggestion that is brilliant in its simplicity: why not eliminate gathering professions altogether?.
The idea would be that if you take a profession like Blacksmithing or Jewelcrafting, you would automatically get the ability to mine ore. This immediately simplifies professions immensely. Of course, you would reduce the number of professions you could take to one or two.
There are already a couple of professions in WoW that work this way: Enchanting and Tailoring. Enchanting generates its own raw materials, as does tailoring. There's no extra gathering profession. And honestly, those two professions are fine on their own. They aren't hurt, or are less fun, by the lack of a gathering profession.
The counter-argument against this idea is that the gathering professions are necessary to the economy in some fashion. But I'm not sure that this is the case. Cloth and enchanting materials are still sold and traded on the AH.
And even if it did hurt the economy, I would prefer this change because it makes crafting simpler and more useful (and maybe even more fun) for each individual player.