In the course of preparing The Lost City I'm still dealing with treasure. It's not going well.
My problem is this. Since treasure must exist, I like it to be meaningful. I like it to have some sort of reason to be there. I like it to have a story of its own. In order for it to fulfil that need, I have a twofold issue. The players must really want the items they find, and I need to concoct good reasons for it to be there in the first place.
I routinely ask players to make up wish lists - which at least avoids the bad Christmas Day scenario when you get a flower press rather than a longed-for My Little Pony Dream Castle. This feels mechanical. "Amazing. Those iron bracers you've been wanting for many levels are right here." Using inherent boni should sort out that particular bugbear, but then I'm left with the fear that plunder I would find good and entertaining and appropriate may not appeal to the players at all.
I don't know how to get around the problem.