Over the weekend I finally got my Alchemist to level 60 and bought out all the Unidentified Plant Parts on the Auction House to get the Honored reputation needed for the Earthstorm Diamond transmute. This has been a long-time goal for me, especially when you consider that the toon in question was level 35 when the expansion came out. I realize that getting one character to 60 in a year isn't a huge task, but when he's at the back of the line with 4 other gals who were trying to go from 60-70 at the same time, it's a big deal. At least for me =)
The main reason I kept going after he hit 50 and maxed his Alchemy was because I had a huge amount of uncut green gems that I needed to get rid of. You just can't cut and sell them fast enough, every time you prospect for blues you make more. The only way I could think to use them without resorting to vendoring was to use them in meta gem transmutes. So finally I made my first diamond this weekend - woot!
Really, I'm quite amazed at the profit potential on these. If I actually purchased all the mats on my server, I'd spend around 50 gold. That's assuming I don't hunt for bargains. Since the uncut gems are going for at least 75 gold, that's a 25 gold profit. I find that amazing when you consider that most professions have to take a loss on crafted items vs. the raw component value.
If you're a jewelcrafter with mining, you can farm almost all the materials yourself. I only have to purchase two of the four necessary primals and I'm good. After I cut the gem, it adds another 25-50g to the value depending on the cut. It appears that the +heal and +AGI meta gems are worth the most on my server and can bring in 125-135g. For the cost of two primal water, I can earn at least 80 gold in pure profit. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.
But even if you are only working half of that equation it's good money. I'm not sure what the Alchemists are whining about as far as their profession being unprofitable. From what I can tell it's still way better than all the other professions except perhaps Jewelcrafting or Enchanting. And since it doesn't have the random factor that prospecting does, nor the spammer requirement that enchanting does, it looks like the best of all worlds from where I'm standing.
I know, I know, the transmutation spec doesn't proc as much as you folks would like. Even without the extra procs, you guys can make meta gems that give a solid 20% or higher profit over the cost of materials. That puts you ahead of every other profession as far as I'm aware. My blacksmith can't make money selling anything, period. My leatherworker isn't much better in that department, she can make armor kits that sell for about the cost of the mats. Enchanters only make a 10% fee for their service fee, if they are lucky enough to get a good customer. Surely I don't even need to bring up Engineering. I can't vouch for Tailors, but I assume they are in the same boat as the other armor-crafting professionals.
I'll probably get blasted for this, but Alchemy gets my vote for the easiest and most profitable profession.