Here are some ideas on how it could work:
1. Salvage rare items into a rune or essence of their respective highest stat. (strength, dex., Int., vitality, all resist, etc.)
2. These runes or essences can be combined to allow the crafter to prioritize the stats on a crafted item. Example: place 300 str Runes, 200 vit Runes and 100 all resist Runes in the new “Paragon” craft recipe to give the crafter the chance to get the preferred stats in the preferred order but still have the random chance to get high or low rolls on those stats and the remaining stats for that item.
3. In addition to #2, significantly improve the stat values on all crafted “Paragon” items to give the crafter a much higher chance to get BIS rolls.
4. Make the armor and weapons made using the “Paragon” recipe in #2 & #3 NON REPAIRABLE! These Paragon items will last for XXX hours of play time, no. of kills, or some other metric to determine longevity. When the time expires, the item needs to be replaced.
5. Lower the crafting cost for “Paragon” items.
6. Make the new “Paragon” recipes drop fairly frequently to get this started or perhaps have a quest to gain access to a recipe vendor.
The ability to choose stats and make good items more available will open a whole new perspective on gearing. We can try many new combinations and “stock up” on the ones that work. Hundreds of Millions of gold pieces will be diverted into crafting every day. If the "Paragon" items are equipped, there will be no more repair costs!