I wonder how much of "image envy" comes from the different interaction we have with other people's work than we have with our own.
First - I have realized that it is very hard for me to be satisfied with my own work. Burdened with expectations of what it should be, I focus on the flaws and failures of my work to meet my ideal. While being our own harshest critic pushes us to be better, it sure doesn't give us a neutral starting point for interacting with our own creations. Conversely, when I look at other people's work, I'm free of expectations and able to engage with the piece for what it is. Ever notice that something that would drive you crazy in your own work just isn't a big deal in someone else's work?
Further more, familiarity breeds contempt. How many times do we look at our own work and say "I wish I made that!" We discount our own uniqueness/specialness because it isn't unique or special to us. After all, we work the way we do because that's how we do it. However, our work may be special to others in the same way that we find other's work special to us. As you said, there are pots you make and pots you buy. Let's hope that ours are special enough that someone wants to own them.
Lastly, by the nature of what we do as makers, we are going to look at and analyze other's work. Rather than image envy, I would hope that we can change the mindset to image appreciation. A friend of mind once commented that instead of being envious, he was happy for other people that made more money then he. That was eye opening to me, and since then I've strived for an approach where I try not to begrudge anyone else's success (certain outrageous CEO compensation plans excluded ). Instead of wishing that those images were ours, let's be glad for the maker and that we get to enjoy their creations.
This resonates with me big time. At a show, a woman grabbed a colorful bowl I made. Looking suspicious, she asked why the price was so low. I said nothing. To my relief she bought it and thankfully carried it away, out of my sight. For you see, I despised it.