I'm fully aware that this will not be of dire need as we will most likely be on 4.0 pre-cata for around a month, maybe less. And for those who do continue to raid, if they have the pieces aforementioned already, why not equip them when it comes out?
On the topic of gearing, here's what you can expect. I just hit 83 in the beta and have not replaced any of my gear yet (all ilevel 277). Although the new gear has mastery on it, the quest rewards up until this point have at best been equivalent to what I have now and that even includes things like stamina (I have almost 50K stam at 83 in my WotLK gear). If I was still actively raiding right now I'd have RS gear on top of that.
Now, dungeons and quest rewards past the point where I'm at have not been itemized and I fully expect to begin replacing gear within the next level. When I hit 85 I expect to have at most 1-2 items left over from WotLK. The long and the short is that whether you have WotLK BiS by the time Cataclysm hits or not, Blizzard is going to use the 80-82 quest rewards to get you to that level. The path to 83 is very, very fast so there's no need to get gear especially for that. Those who have WotLK BiS will just be vendoring a lot of it and charging through to 83+.
On the topic of Stamina, yes, some of the quest rewards have more stamina than the gear you might be wearing but so far I've not had any use for extra stamina outside of dungeons and that probably has more to do with people getting used to the new mechanics. When questing, as long as you are pulling singles or the occasional double, a quick Recuperate off a dead mob every so often is more than enough to top your health off when needed. And if you're using talents to refresh it while chain pulling you're almost immortal as long as you don't do something stupid.
Just to echo and expand on Tinwhiskers post, In general, if you have 277, you won't replace anything in Hyjal or Vashj'ir unless they substantially improve Mastery as a stat for us - at best those items are sidegrades that happen to have Mastery on them, and Matery is a 'meh' stat at best for solo play as of now.
As far as Stamina goes, I haven't seen any upgrades with more than +5-10 stamina before late Deepholm blues. Greens are at best single digit stam upgrades for us, and in general, we aren't as heavily affected by the high damage output of mobs in the new zones. Combat Expertise does a fairly good job of protecting us on the hairier pulls, and Recuperate combined with Deadly Momentum, Imp. Recuperate, and Quickening means you can stay essentially permanently topped off so long as you pull mobs one at a time, which is pretty easy to do. As of now, I'm at 84, and I've replaced my ranged weapon, pants, and shoulders from the gear you currently see on my Armory. Honestly, the biggest incentive to replace gear has nothing to do with stats, and everything to do with getting a higher average ilvl to queue for higher level runs in the Dungeon Finder.
Originally Posted by missiletoad
You're still up for First Degree Slaughter of English Spelling, so sit the fuck down, defendant.
I'm sitting at 1036 passive arpen and 194 hit rating unbuffed. The combat spreadsheet seems to think that it would be a DPS loss to make myself hitcapped (Buffed or not). Is this accurate or a fluke in the sheet?
Just to further elaborate off of what Pathal said: With 5/5 precision (I can't see your armory profile to see if you have 5/5, but I couldn't imagine you being a combat rogue and not have 5/5, and since you are going after armor pen, I would assume you to be a combat rogue) you only need 99 hit rating to be capped on specials (66 with a draenei). After that it just counts for spell hit, and armor pen is worth so much EP when you get to the level you have, I couldn't imagine that spell hit would be worth more.