Do people just hate change? Do they just hate people who care about game design? I didn't realize just how many people would bother to post on this thread just to hate on me because I thought this was an issue worth mentioning - that 80% of the items that drop in this game actually lose you gold if you purposely or accidentally pick them up.
Don't worry man, you are correct. This is not a difference in opinion, as some people have indicated. It IS actively worse to pick up common items than to avoid them, and it IS bad game design. There are entire textbooks written on the subject (see Fundamentals of Game Design, by Ernest Adams - which specifically mentions Diablo throughout). Just because a game has design flaws doesn't mean it isn't a good game though. Every game has flaws.
What you might be able to argue (though I would disagree) is that it is more "fun" than not to include this particular design flaw, and that's what Blizzard may have found to be the case for the majority of players during testing.
I love your post. It's great to hear from someone who has actually read a bit of literature on the subject.
I have begun to wonder though if adjusting the gold values is actually the best change, because as accounts age and presumably the amount of gold everyone has on hand continues to rise, would white/grey items again become irrelevant even if there value was increased to it's logical maximum?
For instance, after I max or near-max level three or four of the classes I imagine I would have so much gold on hand that blues may not even be worth picking up anymore. Although, in that case they would only be not worth picking up because of the gold I have, and not because of their value relative to monsters dropping gold, so I suppose they aren't truly comparable situations.
In Diablo 2, for example, we all knew after getting a character into Nightmare or Hell that picking up commons or blues was no longer worth it because of gold devaluation and the lack of gold sinks, but I never felt as though the amount of gold they sold for was too low, it was simply that I had no use for that gold regardless of how much I received.