This is an excellent guide! I've learned so much! My thanks go out to Rubik, but also a few of you others that have been replying in this thread and asking questions that I shared.
One thing that hasn't been discussed yet -- why doesn't anyone recommend starting with Eternals as your base item? Is it simply because those are sooooo rare?
The way I see it, since Eternals automatically come with 50% iq, they make much stronger base items for any of this crafting. Granted, you would be Quartzing off some strong affixes, but the final product would be vastly superior to an Epic item, which only maxes out at 25% iq (and requires lots of Emeralds just to get there).
The crystal cost of disenchanting, enchanting, re-rolling, etc. will be the same regardless of which base item you use, so isn't it better to make sure you start with the best possible base before you start investing in it?
(not to mention that in the amount of time it takes to accumulate all these crystals, you'll probably get some Eternals anyway...)