I think what you're talking about when you say "circular exchanging for profit" is arbitrage.
Arbitrage isn't a bad thing, it's how the market smooths out price differences. Right now arbitrage is difficult with bitcoin but eventually there will be exchanges that support bitcoin and other digital currencies in ways that make arbitrage easy, and then price differences between exchanges will be small. That's a good thing and sufficient for what you're talking about. It works well in other contexts, with stocks and currencies, etc., so no reason it wouldn't work well with digital currencies.
The stock market analogy works because bitcoins are traded like stocks, using the same bid/ask mechanism. There's nothing else establishing a price for bitcoin. When you set the price using the same mechanism that the stock market uses, pricing behaves like stock market pricing. I'm not sure how else you'd do it. It's also almost entirely momentum speculation at the moment which makes it behave much more like stock pricing than currency exchange. And that's the real problem, not difficulty pricing.
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