Among the Guild Wars 2 Reddit I found a curious thread that reviewed the economy from the game from a professional stand point but also from the stand of a nearly brand new player with a high interest in crafting. The thread discussed how blue and green gear is just about worthless in the game, and put up on the Trading House for typically one copper more than vendor price, which will result in a loss for the seller due to the tax the Trading House imposes; which for a crafter is just about nearly everything they make, and ends in the crafter often spending more (in net worth) on crafting items to make sub par gear that one can just purchase for pennies off the Auction.
This, in the thread's argument, makes all crafting professions, except for Jewel Crafting (because of a severe lack of jewelry in loot tables) and Cooking, useless in the way of netting any real profit from crafting. So while in the “end game” there is profit in making Legendary items there is almost no way to support one's self from crafting and argues to right this it would be wise for ArenaNet to cut down the amount of gear drops in mobs and increase the amount of crafting materials which would also keep to immersion, because wolves don't drop iron breastplates.
This post intrigued me, and in one hand I agree that the writer is completely right. Why is a material, even if Tier 6, found less often and in some cases worth more than the gear of equivalent level? Why even bother in crafting unless you're seeking a quick way to level to 80, wanting to make Legendaries or crafting food for yourself? And even pre-80 food is worth pennies compared to the butter and vanilla beans necessary to make it! Selling all the materials you get and just purchasing the hard work of crafters off the market is more worthwhile if you aren't trying to get every single achievement.
However I also acknowledge that ArenaNet isn't about crafting. In Guild Wars 1 the crafting materials were practically a joke, and they keep the same stance that there is no huge reason to hunt these materials unless you just want that really expensive, unique armor and weapon set. We're given more incentive in Guild Wars 2 in Legendaries and the fact that crafting gives us experience! They want to make sure that people who are interested in the exploration or World v. World portions game are still given a fair means to get appropriate gear without having to invest time in that crafting thing. They also want to encourage the pure exalted feeling when you gather every single Charged Lodestone you need and craft Infinite Light or Aether (and I could tell you some stories involving making my Aether).
“So where do I sit on this?” I say to myself when writing this editorial. I'm a Master Crafter, on route to make those exotic Halloween skinned items (finally) and even with plans to work on a Legendary. As a crafter I've spent so much money being able to make a banquet table of melon pies and I've never used a single one, I have made myself bags for way too much money when I saw how much they were on the Auction and I've split the craft professions between multiple characters just to save small amounts of silver.
I say that crafting is absolutely a money sink and don't pursue it if you don't feel the need to. If you argue that you need something? Get cooking to level up with. That's all you really “need” if you want maxed out stats and effects, and just purchase the potion, sharpening stone or whatever stat buff you want off the Auction.
Save your gold and purchase the uncraftable items like the Greatsaw or gear to get to higher levels of Fractals and get those nifty Fractal skinned weapons.
Take a look at the blog post mentioned at this link.