So, to you, trade is "sitting around in lobbies yelling "10 SOJs for Tal's Helm" for hours"? Interesting. Because, you know, to me trading is giving my mate this awesome barb item I found while playing a wiz, or trading weapons with my mate because I have a slow weapon and want a fast one, and he has a fast one and wants a slow one.
They addressed this in two ways (that they have mentioned so far):
-- If you are in the same game when something drops, you can trade a legendary between each other. So if you want to trade, play together. Somewhat heavy handed, but it does encourage grouping.
-- They didn't like the idea of just getting handed a bunch of stuff by a friend who plays more than you. Clearly you disagree with this, but I actually support it. It certainly feels cool to be handed a bunch of things but in the end it just means you don't need / want to farm, aka play the game.
What's also interesting is that you didn't like your option yet you did it, and I love my option yet I won't be able to do it.
The problem is that if the AH / trading exists then drop rates are low so you need to trade. Which means it doesn't matter if I like it or don't like it--I have to do it. I didn't like the AH but I used the hell of out if (as well as d2jsp). Why? It was the only way to get the end game items I needed.
You say you would just use trading to trade between your friends. But the spamming of chat channels would happen if the best items could be traded. That problem had to be addressed and the devs made their choice. Counter proposals are fine but "just allow trading" isn't viable because it doesn't solve that problem.
All legendary and set items being soul-bound is a terrible idea. Don't kill trading. Killing the auction house is good, killing the social aspect of trading is bad.
Going to have to disagree here. One of the worst things about D2 was trade spam, scams, and sitting around in lobbies yelling "10 SOJs for Tal's Helm" for hours.
Trading in Diablo is one of those things that sounds like a good idea on paper but doesn't really work in practice.
The devs have it spot on in my opinion. I don't want to spend time in some sort of trade chat spamming for the item I need. I want to go out there, kill demons, and find it. And then enchant it to make it perfect. And then use it to go out and kill more demons.