I understand Raiding takes a lot of time and effort, Pvp does too. I also understand the people who excel at these deserve to be rewarded properly. But rewarding them with "better gear" is not the answer. Simply because as soon as the next batch of content (Pvp or Pve) comes out that gear is just trashed and any sense of accomplishment is gone. They need to be rewarded with "unique gear" (not just in color). Something along the lines of the "Champion of the Narru" or Gladiator titles. Or perhaps the "Purple Trophy Tabard of the Illidari" (I know that is not raid level gear, just an example). And I don't mean unique as in just one drops each time you take 5 hours to kill one boss. I mean unique as in each raid member gets a "My guild made it to the Black Temple and all I got was this lousy teeshirt" kind of deal.
I still have my Benediction staff because it's unique, not because it's a great staff. I don't use it but I can whip it out and cart it around to show it off as an accomplishment in the game. I'm sure the same goes for many GM staffs.
If Blizzard would stop re-shading and upgrading stats on old gear and work on unique equipment/rewards this whole argument would go away.
I know there is the whole argument about performance issues and character models and how much RAM is required but that just doesn't make sense to me. The idea of unique is that there aren't thousands of them. If there were a few people on each server it wouldn't create that much overhead (the unique mounts for example).
How many people on each server get to see the real end game content? Is it too much to ask that they can show it off for more than a couple months? In Arena Pvp you have titles with some meaning why not more of this in for the raiders? Perhaps this gear does exist but is indeed so rare that most people never even seen it.
It seemed for a short time there we had a distinct division between Pvp and Pve rewards. There was the title system for Pvp, restricted barracks, and officers quarters. There was unique gear for raiders (tiers 1-3) and unique Pvp gear. I think the problem started when Blizzard got lazy and started merging this gear (the graphics anyway). At least the weapons haven't fallen into this trap. It is usually easy to tell a Raider from a Pvper by the weapon they carry. Why can't armor be the same way?
There is clearly a distinction between playing style, there should be the same distinction in gear.