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I don't think the AH in itself is the problem. It is in fact a good trading system. Other problems in the game hinder the AH from achieving its purpose.
The problem is that the drop quality is presently very low, and you will find a really good item in every 1000 drops or so. Therefore, after level 58 or 59, you can no longer improve your char with self found items, unless you play 24 hours per day.
In order to improve your chars, you are impelled to go to the AH. Since even there the amount of really top items is low, they are expensive. Since the gold drop rate is also low, most players don't have a huge amount of gold, and thus the GAH doesn't work as expected as a trading system.
The other option is the RMAH, where you can buy good items using money.The RMAH became similar to a casino, where some people spend huge amounts of money. I heard of players spending U$ 9000 in the RMAH! Crazy!
If the loot system is improved (as it was already in the console version), this problem might be solved, but I am not sure removing the AH is necessary.
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