Silver ores are in limited supply since they're only sold from guild merchants. You'd be lucky to make 1 stack of ingots in an hour since you'll need 48 ores.
Some recipes have a limited supply of materials, and some don't. Even when crafting was at its prime, this was still true. I only gave one example to illustrate a point, but there are many recipes, and numerous of them are now MORE profitable than before crafting was declared "dead".
In the current state, it is more efficient for a new player to sell crystals and npc junk from leveling a job than level a craft, even if it is just to level 20.
This argument has been around since probably 2005, and aside from the early level 100 crafters, there have always been "better" ways to make gil. But it is not really a black and white, yes/no issue. It very much depends on the individual player, and what that player is good at. The top tier players in one activity will still typically outperform the casual player in another.
Are there still profitable recipes? Of course, but unless someone is addicted and crafting gives you that one high of your day guilty, a player is better off not touching crafting.
Crafting has always been better viewed as a long-term investment. Anyone not willing to put in the time and pain should probably steer clear. However, I would say that it is actually easier to get into crafting and make profit at a low level than it used to be. 5 years ago, everyone was hopping on the bandwagon. FFXIAH was relatively new, and made it much easier for people to research profitable synths. As a result, there were virtually no significantly profitable synths in any craft under level 60. If a synth under 60 turned profitable one day, someone was skilling on it and undercutting to break-even or less the next. Now, many of the players who still want to craft are 100 or close. Easy, low-level synths (of stuff that is still in demand) make decent gil because few people are skilling up, and veteran crafters prefer more lucrative items.
Anyhow, crafting now, as a whole, may well have fewer opportunities for profit. But with everyone jumping ship and yelling "crafting is dead", there are fewer people competing for those opportunities. If you ever wanted to level crafting, now is a pretty good time to start. Edited, Jan 23rd 2012 5:48pm by VxSote