| >>it's harder to make that deal when you could be getting a weapon that's twice as good|
A Tier 6 item does not even have 50% better stats than storebought... so no, not twice as good :P
I think what modifies players' views is how you can forge heavier/lighter weapons and armor. You don't realize the stats also go down by a similar %. But having a sword you can swing 50% faster FEELS twice as good even if it is doing less damage?
Similarly, if you cannot survive in storebought plate but CAN in less hindering lumium plate, you don't really care that it is protecting less effectively.