I started playing like a month or two ago... last time I played before then was a few ladders ago. The economy is much different than it was back then, reason being the dupes are 100 times more common. The economy is so inflated by high runes that you can trade them for mal or even um. This makes it incredibly easy to get the godly runewords so unique weapons are trash. And, since everyone is running around with huge OP runeword weapons, they are farming baal/nihil with ease, so low-end uniques are also worthless.
Basically, the economy is in shambles. I'm hoping it will be fixed next ladder, at least for a while.