In 3.5e, Sunder was rarely used by PCs and, also DMs. Unless the DM
For PCs, this was because no one wanted to destroy their eventual "treasure". Even though I have had PCs learn that you can probably have an easier time hitting the enemy or weakening its abilities if you just sunder their shield or their staff or wand or whatever.
For DMs, nothing angers PCs than having their precious magic items "gunned" for. Despite how much sense it would make for, say, a highly intelligent creature to just destroy that particular piece of equipment to better take on the PC, you're considered an evil DM for doing so.
What made sunder such a less-used attack was due to two things:
1) How easy it was to destroy non-shield/weapons. Shield and weapons were opposed attack rolls, but destroying anything else simply had to hit a really low AC. Only the item's size and wielder's Dexterity bonus counted.
2) How with all magic items, except armor, shields, and weapons, it only takes one hit to destroy. Cloak's hardness and hp? 0 hardness, probably 2 or 4 hp. Amulet? Hardness 2, 5, or 10, and 2 hp. Boots? Hardness 2, maybe 10 if they were greaves, hp 4 probably, maybe 5.
Pathfinder did a good job at solving Number 1. By using CMD for Sunder, more experienced, strong, and quicker enemies have an easier time protecting their equipment from being struck than weaker ones. This balanced everything out just fine.
That still leaves Number 2, the one-hit break problem.
So, is there an eventual solution to this? I know a few WotC 3.5e spells that can drastically increase the hardness and hp of items and it seems to me that all magic items should get this automatically, or there should be a rule allowing increased hardness and hit points based on the Caster Level of the item created. Say Hardness equal to caster level and hp equal to five times caster level. A CL 12th ring would have Hardness 12 and 60 hp.
The main question is what were the thoughts of the designers for this issue? Or did it slip away when putting the rules together?