Last night I had a discussion with my brother, Bishopgeorge, about the play in the level cap. He had had a couple of pretty disappointing experiences where he just couldn't deliver what the instance run required. He's more or less as devastated with the situation after dinging 80 as I was with all the problems with the minimum stats and values.
And he's a priest, after all.
Granted, his gear still consists of greens and crafted blues. But so did mine before I got into guild daily hc runs and went through a couple of successful Trials of the Champions. But considering how devastating the feeling is for him, who has heard the warnings and frustrations from me and my frustrations, I can't imagine how awful the situation is for someone playing the game alone, without a guild and hitting the cap.
Like Bishopgeorge said, the fun of exploration and questing has been taken out of the game and all that is left is humiliating feeling of inadequacy. Exactly my feelings! It's funny and sad that the cap hits the crucial roles so hard. DPS has been doing the same tweaking forever, but these two roles -healing and tanking- have been able to deliver with the level range gear easily. Now the playing field changes completely and the numbers game is crushing.
I think Blizzard is making the right correcting movement in simplifying the stats and bonuses. The less the game has real theorycrafting, the easier it is to enter the 'real game' for someone who's playing/net time is limited. This lowers the bar for the newcomer and casual gamers, naturally crossing the hardcore players even more.
But as long as reaching level 80 causes you to crush and consider leaving the game for real, anything lowering this threshold is for the common good. Even the hardcore raiders retire every now and then, and if there are no new players to take their place, what will become of Lagalan?