Are they broken, or backwards?
Massively.com takes us on a tour of the WoW economy, and MMO economies in general. This is the first of a set of features, explaining why real world business concepts don't always translate into MMOs.
In brief, value chain analysis states that for any good requiring multiple stages of production (meaning you don't just rip it out of your backyard and eat it), value is added at each level of refinement. Therefore the price should increase along its path to becoming a finalized product.
Read the full economic debate here.