I dont really understand where you are going with this. It is a constant issue brought up in these MMO survival PvP games (or however we are going to categorize them ... really not important). There is always this debate that I should as a solo be able to do all the things just as well as everyone else, and that I should be able to eventually get to endgame by myself.
My question to you is this what do you define as end game!? What is this character progression you speak of?
Currently I have 2 characters that I have unlocked skills on and gotten a significant amount of knowledge points with, and I'm already planning for some more. The gear/housing does not really bug me to much atm since it is all subject to change and its going to change because balancing is hella wack right now (even from just a couple of little test fights ... admittedly with only 4 people).
There is no real END that i see. I mean i can finish a character to some extent i suppose but to unlock EVERY last bit of knowledge and to think that that is the true end is kinda silly ... there is always going to be an encounter or build that will beat you for 1 reason or another.
I do understand your concern about the LEGENDS, but lets see how they work and how things play out before we start the fire alarm. Currently i think there is a much bigger issue with the way the knowledge works when you are killing the same mob with multiple people ... those dam mages always doing ridiculous damage .
To jump to the crafting part of progression I think that there is amazing potential in this game to allow solos to progress A LOT without ever having to interact with guilds in a meaningful way.
First off if we just look at what is in the game currently (not taking bugs into consideration lets imagine everything is working ). You can as a solo rather easily accumulate a decent amount of gold, and with this gold you can basically go and buy anything that is on sale from the people in the cities. Unfortunately at the moment there is no support for public crafting stations, but unless you are a metal user I think you can craft anything you want in the starter towns (I honestly didnt check is there a forge there ????).
What I want to see in the future is more detailed permissions to allow govs and vice-govs ... etc. to give access to utilities that their town has to everyone (if they so choose to do). I'm not going to go into detail right now, but crafting stations and such should be able to be set to things like "only usable to x guild", "only usable by x, y and z", "usable by everyone" and so on.
Now i can already hear you typing that you want to collect your own ore or w/e else you are forced to buy from those dirty city people. I get your argument but I think you have to understand that if you COULD do it then so could they and if for some reason your way was easier for them, or would in any way benefit them ... well YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS THEY WOULD DO IT !!! And then by doing so would completely de-value all that effort you put in.
Frankly there is nothing glamorous about hauling a cart of ore, and wood, and rocks in order to get something done, and yes you are at the mercy of the prices set by the city but in the end that price is exactly the value you are willing to pay for whatever it is you are progressing towards.
The system the devs have chosen to go with is very interesting and full of penitential, it will need some tweaking and implementation of new and improvement of old features but there is great potential here, and we need to see how things play out in further tests.