Originally Posted by Kurald Galain
The thing is that taking equipment away permanently is seen as a poor tactic, whereas taking equipment away temporarily is fair game.
Which gets into the whole "relatively similar replacement" concept. Putting aside how D&D puts equipment in a very different spot than in most games, and how the removal of equipment tends to be significantly more serious in D&D than in most games, there is a drastic difference between having something go missing only to have something similar replace it in the near future, and losing something irretrievable. There's also the matter of game expectations - this is where the D&D equipment paradigm gets relevant, as equipment loss is generally acceptable in other games, because it is expected that it happens, and most things are not really all that hard to replace with something similar, whereas D&D has lots of expensive things which involve several sessions of build up to acquire, and equipment that is practically a part of a character. There are other approaches - to use a personal example, a future-fantasy game of mine features a bunch of gonzo treasure hunters going around South America in a jeep. By "a jeep" I mean, "on average 1.5 jeeps per session", on account of how the jeeps keep getting blown up, or fall into ravines, or get buried in avalanches, or whatever else. Nobody considers this bad GMing, on account of how it is pretty much expected at this point and has crossed over into being completely hilarious. There is also no reason that D&D couldn't be somewhat closer to this side of things, where one might, for instance, need to get a new shield fairly frequently on account of how it keeps breaking with the specifics of the shields varying.
With all of that said - the solution to the original problem of somewhat too good equipment is not contrived removal. It's talking to the player, and agreeing to tone down the effect of the equipment for future sessions.