I've seen the complaint often in my several years of more or less hardcore raiding.
"Casuals have it too easy"
"Blizzard just hands them free epix."
"I'm quiting wow because they've dumbed it down for teh casuals"
In the next Tier of content (more to follow), it seems even 5-man heroics will be dropping Triumph badges and everything below, including conquest, will be extinct.
You'll be able to hit 80, run a few lolheroix and voila! Instant Tier 9!
Blizzard has been doing this for a long time now. Whenever they introduce a new level of raiding content, they allow 'next best' gear to be accessed at a much reduced 'cost.' In Lich King they've done this by giving tokens for higher and higher ilevel items. In Burning Crusade they gave out vastly improved gear for the same tokens, and in both they've given increasingly better epics for both honor and new 5-mans.
It's a fact of life.
Blizzard wants content to be accessible to nearly everyone, and uses hard modes to challenge the more hard core raiders.
So, GET OVER IT OR GET OUT, Elitist Jerks! :P
I have no problem with Blizzard trying to make the game more fun, for more people. Larisa talked about this over at the Pink Pigtail Inn yesterday and in comments I agreed with her and others that this approach is both successful and (imo) reasonable.
A really nice advantage of this, even for the hardcore wow player is that if you decide to reroll a different race or class you can easily level up, hit 80, and gear up quickly to be ready for the 'real' endgame of raiding the current level of content, even with a relatively new toon. So in general I think the 'easy mode' approach to gearing up is a good thing. I have to admit, making conq/triumph badges available in 5-mans brought me back to doing them, and enjoying rolling through that 'old content' along the way.
Hardcore raiders will still have the best gear and the 'prestige' of downing the most difficult content, which the more casual guilds will never get to do.
BTW, I don't hate casuals. :P