I'm all about the story, and as such, I've always been a fan of long-term attachment between players/characters and their special (usually magic) items. But with D&D 4th edition, it seems the default assumption is that magic-items will be churned-out in favor of items that have the next higher set of capabilities every 4 or 5 levels or so, completely discouraging a story-like relationship between a character and their favorite item(s).
Are there alternatives - such as official rules to allow crafting an item to add level appropriate bonuses and/or powers? Are there other solutions I'm missing?
If there are no official solutions, what house rules have you seen/used to solve this problem?
One approach I'm considering is to simply reveal new capabilities for the items as the character matures, in effect adding capabilities whenever they would have had to replace the gear for something with enough pluses.