Avarice Blade, Philo Stone, Kage's Lucky Pick, and Heart of Gold used to not upgrade into anything at all, the thinking was generally that getting GP 10 was strong enough to not need it, you're supposed to get gold to buy items, not buy items to get gold for the most part anyways.
Seriously though, if you take into account the value of Critical Strike Chance you only spend 175 gold to get the GP/10 bonus, with the same cost for Heart of Gold. Kage's requires a little more gold for the passive. 175 isn't that much for the GP/10 bonus at all, and games have to go on long enough for you to actually need to sell the item will allow you to more than pay for the items original cost.
I would like to see items with greater slot efficiency with life steal though, at least when Starks was around I could build for AD or AS. Exacutioners, Bilgewater, and Wriggles all end there build well under 2k gold, which is a little lackluster compared to so many 3k+ items. Would like to see Exacutioners build into something.