Today I heard something about BoE epics from raid bosses being srs bns. I'll just assume that this is true and that they are in fact srs bns and not like current BoE epics. By that I mean upgrades from blues which you shouldn't be wearing for long anyway. So, as with all srs bns, these would need to be distributed. I normally would encourage my "Klepsacovic distributes everything however he feels like it" system, but apparently people read this and the popularity of this system could lead to a lot of extra work for me.
In unrelated news, hot chocolate with a shot of espresso in it is one of the best hot drinks ever, unless it's made by whoever made the one I just finished. Moving on.
Useful BoEs mean that lots of people want them and everyone can get them. Clearly this requires a more nuanced system than the current one for handling drops that few people want and only 10-25 people even have a shot at.
To start off, I think it's pretty standard that people who are in the raid have higher priority than people who are not there. Of course special circumstances could be created: we need X for this boss but long-time loyal raider could really use this piece, but he's stepping out for you, if there are no objections we'll give it to him. I probably wouldn't go for an exception like that, but there is one universal rule: Anything is okay as long as everyone involved agrees to it.
So, let's look at who is in the raid, all the possible combinations of priorities.
The highest is clearly a main character getting an upgrade for a main spec. After that comes, in no particular order, alts, mains going for off-spec gear, and alts going for off-spec gear. The first two I'd put as a tie since they're approximately equal in usefulness to the guild (wrong character ~= wrong spec). The last is last since it's the least likely to be of any help to anyone, including the person getting the gear.
Now let's go outside the raid. There are again mains with main spec upgrades. Alts with main spec, mains with off-spec, and alts with off-spec. I'd say a similar order could be used.
This system isn't at all perfect. On one hand, it rewards attendance by prioritizing those who show up. On the other hand, it would potentially give gear to alts or off-specs over non-present mains of main spec. However if the supposed main with the main spec isn't showing up, is he actually more useful than the alt or off-spec? Maybe overall he is more useful, if it's like my earlier situation where he's only not present in order to free up a much-needed spot. However if he's taking up a needed spot and isn't missed, perhaps he's not the most useful class/spec and would be better off somewhere else instead of dropping raids and still getting gear.
What is loyalty worth? He's loyal, but is his loyalty of any benefit? Everyone might benefit more if he was loyal to a guild that actually needs him. But I've gotten off-topic.
Perhaps an entirely separate system is needed for BoEs. Maybe there could be an auction once a week to raise funds. There could be a separate DKP system, mirroring the system used for BoPs, but with its own pool. Officers could give out gear as it is requested and proven to be an upgrade, similar to BoE gems currently.
It's pretty simple to treat the BoEs as BoPs when they're in the raid, but not everyone will want them and sharding them isn't a very smart option. How they are handled once they leave the zone is going to be an issue that all guilds will have to figure out on their own.