I haven't spent much time in there at all, I usually know what I'm looking for. And I've got a few drops I currently still use.
This is all coming from a guy who never played D1 or D2. It took tons of farming in D1 or D2 to get great drops (don't think D3 is alone here). There wasn't an AH, but many of the great drops people never even seen, if you wanted them you would have to join trading games, it was clunky, and thats why the AH is here. I played a good amount of D2 and never seen anything amazing ever. Saying this isn't like D1 or D2 without ever having either is the only thing thats BS at this point
Seriously, pick up D2, it's cheap, play it, and let us know when you get something amazing (drops were not even close to constant enough for you to push right throug Hell, you would have to farm to be able to do that, the article you linked supported that like Kreij said). Also don't be mad that when you get to Hell difficulty things are just flat out immune to certain types of attacks. Frost Sorceress and run into Frost Immune (not resist but immune) thats good game. It's the max difficulty in a game, to be mad at it being difficult doesn't make sense, theres 3 other difficulties you can go have fun in and walk through without a problem.
There is no pvp in this game, so you don't need to out gear others. You just need to have the gear to do the content, and you definitely don't need to go to the RMAH for that. I haven't spent a dime on this game and I got 2 characters in Act 3 Inferno. And the most expensive item I have purchased for either character is 600k, so not the millions you speak of (and we both play Barb, and I'm doing great with those non-million items). Since oyu never played Diablo before saying this game has a precise economy and is nothing like the others, you must have never heard of SOJ's. D2's economy was weight on SOJ value (that was an item in game), it made it's own currency. You keep saying it's naive to think this is like the other games, but it's naive of you to judge D3 compared to them when just 2 months ago you were completely clueless on what Diablo even was, seriously.