I've been playing with several mods on 1.8.1 - including IC, BC, RP, as well as BTW.
One thing that I've noticed that Better than Wolves does quite well (although they are no longer going to be compatible), is have a tiered structured tech tree, where some items are dependent on others. While this already exists to some extent in IndustryCraft - it is more of a flat tree - with the difference between standard machines and advanced machines being the key difference.
An idea which I had which would play to IndustryCrafts strength - the powergrid - is the idea of an assembler. Instead of building these machines on the crafting table - have the recipes for the machines create an "un-assembled" version - which has to be put in the assembler. The assembler would be a fairly simple item to craft - but it would sit on the powergrid and chew through the power to create assembled machines. It would use a variable amount of EU/t, as well as duration, based on the item being assembled. The key point would be unlike current machines - progress would be lost if the assembler ran out of power. This would require that the power grid be built up to assemble more advanced machines. While assembling a batbox might take 10 EU/t and a total of 5k-20k total EU - an MFSU might take 100 EU/t and a total of 300-400k total EU.
This would put a EU cost on machines as well as a material cost - and would lead to a requirement of establishing a solid power grid to power the various machines as well as the assembler to make more. In some cases, this might be buffering additional power - but that comes at the cost of a larger recovery time between building machines.
Another thing this could be used for - wrench failures - instead of returning just a machine block - could return the unassembled version of the machine, but that's just an extension of where this could go.