Sounds a bit complicated for my simple mind to understand - I personally think that the way it is implemented at the moment is fine - people want to sell their items so they ask for lower amounts than their competitors. If someone managed to get some cheap then he can sell it cheap and rule the market for a period of time - IMO it works very well.
Allow me then to refine my explanation. I propose a market that allows those who offer to pay the most (highest bidder) for a good, and those who offer a good for the least (lowest asker) to get first priority. It balances against what buyers want (to pay the least), and what sellers want (to receive the most). For example, if a lot of buyers were to come onto the market, then the system would drive pricers higher (because buyers would have to constantly outbid each other). If a lot of sellers were to come onto the market, then the system would drive pricers lower (because sellers would have to constantly underask each other). Allow me to give you some examples:
Let's say that someone--let's call him seller A--puts up 100 stimpacks for no less than 5 credits a unit. Seller B then comes on and puts up 50 stimpacks for no less than 4 credits a unit. We get a buyer A who comes on and wants to buy 75 stimpacks for no more than 3 credits a unit. Well, buyer A will not be getting seller A and seller B's items, because he is not willing to pay for them, and the sellers are not willing to give it to him at that price. Obviously, someone is going to have to budge. Let's say that a buyer B comes on and and wants 75 stimpacks for no more than 5 credits a unit. Well, he'll first get seller B's 50 stimpacks first, because they're the cheapest. So he pays 4 credits a unit for them, which adds 50 to the volume traded and puts the market price (last trade) at 4 credits a unit. Then, to get his full 75, he pays 5 credits a unit for 25 more. This adds 25 to the volume traded (for a total so far of 75 units traded) and puts the market price at 5 credits a unit. Well, seller A still has 75 stimpacks for no less than 5 cr/u left on the market. Let's say that buyer A gives up and will get them at any price. Well, he would then get his 75 stimpacks for 5 credits a unit.
I hope this example was helpful.
Also - the 3000 cap is essential, I think - because not only does it encourage PA shops, but it also means that weapons are harder to come by, and so you'll see a few less people with uber weapons and you will see people gasping at some guy's huge laser cannon (I have found myself oogling at someone's rifle) and so all in all, I think the Bazaar system is as well done as it could be.
PA shops are not the most effective way of trading, so of course to maintain their competitiveness you need some way to make the bazaar (which is very effective) less competitive. Of course any efforts to make them less competitive is very artificial and thus is bound to cause imbalances in the economy. For example, heightened demand for an item (perhaps as a result of speculation) regularly traded on the bazaar could cause the price that people are willing to sell it for (the asking price) above 3,000 cr/u, which would effectively force it off the bazaar. It being forced off the bazaar would cause the item to become more scarce--because it would be harder to find,--which would have the effect of driving the amount that people are willing to sell it for even higher. That would then spur speculative excesses, which pushes the bidding price to far above what non-speculators are willing to pay for it. So essentially once the pool of bidders goes dry, it would force sellers to start selling it at lower prices. That could spark a panic, which would cause the market price per unit to plummet. Such a plummet would wipe many a speculator out. They would then demand that the Devs to step in to save them from losing their money. That of course would cause more artificialities.
If that example sounded too Goldbergian to you, then I agree. But I also guess that it is also where your priorities lie. I believe that the in-game economy should be made as effective as possible with little Dev interference. You think it is important that the Devs intentionally make it more difficult to obtain "uber weapons," so that those who do manage to get them would have their social standing improved and feel more like an elite player.
If you really want to get the best weapons in the hands of the fewest players and accelerate the development of even better weapons, then I think you should agree with the system that I propose. My system would facilitate a process known as creative destruction. The game allows players to constantly improve on their weapons. Under the current system, when a very good item is created, it starts off scarce. However, the item stays scarce artificially, because people will not sell it on the bazaar, which keeps the price artificially high. That would provide little incentive for the manufacturer to improve on the item, because he can get good profits just off this. Under the system that I propose, as the item becomes very common, its price gets driven down. That would force the manufacturers to keep producing even better items, which of course start off scarce, but then it would go down in price at the bazaar, forcing them to make it even better again. Those who will not keep up will see their profits go down.
This system provides great incentive for people to constantly improve on themselves, and helps to keep a wide open box for what could happen. The current system does not. It provides little incentive for people to constantly improve on themselves. In fact, it makes it even more difficult.