Search For Gear With Negatives
I say that stuff like bonus health is generally going to be helpful to everyone to an extent. One of the better things you should try to do is find gear with negatives that don't affect certain characters. For example, Eldrid characters have no shields. So, if you're finding gear with negative shield effects of any kind and the bonuses can benefit you, then by all means use it. You get that nice discount on the gear, with none of the drawbacks. If you really wanted, you could equip three white items with negative stats, reducing their cost to zero, and start the game with boosted stats, which means you'll be able to devote all of your shards to buildables.