Maybe a donation system is not crazy talk.
Having a "patreon" like system where you donate to modders from your wallet means modders are free to distribute their time to whatever they think works for their public. Making small mods, making one big mod, making one single crazy feature.
The "pay what you want" model is also good. The Humble store prove is a model people like to use.
Let gamers choose how much money Bethesda deserve, how much Steam deserve and how much the modder deserve.
You can have both at the same time, a... the harder thing is always find the right name for it... "Support and Subscribe $$" button that stars with the suggested donation quantity, but let the gamer choose how much to donate for the mod, and to who. This way if you still want to pay 0 for the mod, you can.
This if we really want paid mods, that I honestly I don't know if is worth it. Nobody really knows.