@szymkodf That's a good point, I didn't consider that the designers might use replicator to support their stealth archetype.
As I was thinking about this, I wondered, if there was a hypotherical identity that said: Gain :click: at the start of each of your turns, use this click only to install hardware.
Even that, coupled with pawnshop would mean that all of your clicks until you run out of cards to pawn would be worth an extra .25 credits. Seems good, but look what it took just to get that.
I don't think that Replicator could ever occupy space as an economy engine without the existence of a super pawnshop that gave more than 3 credits for hardware pawned. As with the exile spoiler, I really wanted a bodyweight reprint when I saw replicator -- we got freelance coding which is good enough for me, but not what replicator wanted.
Replicators place outside of casual decks would have to be to get hardware that just wins the game. a hardware that says: if you have 3 installed, win the game? No maybe not such an extreme - perhaps supporting a future archetype that requires hardware to establish a hard-lock.
The shaper hardware that was spoiled that returns cards from archives to HQ hints at the possibility of creating choke decks in netrunner, but in order to get there, it would have to be an archetype that the designers are actively supporting, because there isn't really anything else to support a choke deck beyond that record reconstructor card. I really think this is more anti-fun than some of the things that the designers have already printed counters for.
I dont know man, I really don't know.