I use my astral shards almost exclusively for gold seal rogue hirelings. I got lucky when shards first came out and was able to sell 2 drow weapon master weapons (One was a light mace) for 200 AS each. I have been living off those 270 (after 30% auction house fee) shards ever since.
I iike the free daily dice rolls...well...because they are free. I have amassed a nice little stash of xp gems for my next TR.