Yet again an alt has run full tilt into the gear gap between Northrend normals and Cataclysm normals. And rather than rant about it I figured I'd try to be constructive. I know that in the long run Blizz is trying to figure out what to do about gear inflation, but that doesn't help people right now. So here's some stopgap solutions in the meantime.
1. Have crafted gear that fills the gap. My tailor can't make a full set of Cat greens for a level 80, and neither can my blacksmith or leatherworker. Add some patterns and fix this. You could even have them drop from the level 80 Wraith dungeons. This isn't an ideal newbie solution, but it'd couldn't hurt.
2. Give the heirlooms that scale to 85 an i level (like 282). Heck, if you wanted to be really nice, you could make it a scaling i-level. It'd be nice to be able to queue with my cloak and helm of YAY XP, instead of queueing in greens I am just going to switch out as soon as I get in there.
3. Get rid of the XP gap between Northrend heroics and Cat normals. At least that way I could go farm Northrend stuff for XP (even if gear farming them is pointless). It just makes the gap a bit less painful.
4. Lower the ilevel requirements for the first two Cat normals.
5. Drop Cat greens in level 80 dungeons.
6. Make quest rewards from the level 80 dungeons equivalent to Cat greens.
Now, why am I harping on this? Well, imagine you're a new player. You've decided that you want to tank or heal at end game, so you've leveled through dungeons, or you've leveled through dungeons cause you like them. You're learning how to play, you've kinda got the gear thing down, and then you hit level 80 and lookie, you can't keep progressing the way you have been. You have to hope that a) you know that Cat greens can be bought on the AH and that you have the gold or that b) it occurs to you to go quest or that c) you have helpful and friendly guildies.
Otherwise, I can see a misinformed newbie thinking "okay, guess I need to run more Wraith normals" never realizing that they will never get to a high enough i level that way. And that could easily lead to a rage quit. If it's annoying to me (who has the gold and the knowledge to go get what I need from the AH), I can only imagine how frustrating it might be to a new player.