More ilvl and epic compared to blue means more item budget. Only if an item with higher budget uses that budget on stats that are of no use or less use to you will a lower level item be better.
Mastery is great. Dodge is great, what's not to love about the crafted belt? If you subscribe to the no hit/expertise idea, the blue belt will always be worse. In the same way, look at the stats provided by the bunch of 346 rings you have - some have threat stats, some don't. Pick according to your need.
Unless you are preventing a guild mate from getting his first bit of gear on the level, there is no reason not have alternative kit in the bank or bag and swap depending on how your stats change when you upgrade other pieces.
With reforging, I feel the "ilvl trap" is not as much of a concern as it used to be, at least for many classes/specs where most stats are "useful" and the difference between an optimal stat and a sub-optimal one that you can reforge out of is not massive.
Totally agree with Stephanius - if you haven't already, get yourself a wardrobe addon (or use the built in one) and make yourself a few sets... a threat set (which has useful things like hit and expertise) and a survival set (which doesn't). As you build up gear, maybe you'll break out that survival set into a physical one (heavy on the mastery/avoidance) and an effective health set (more stamina for magic heavy fights), etc.
What was the item level trap? Rolling on gear simply because it had a higher ilvl? That's not a trap, that's lazy.
But the reality I'm seeing when looking at the gear is with the large increase of ratings and ability to reforge, it's usually an upgrade with proper reforging. I wouldn't go from mastery/dodge to dodge/hit necessarily, but dodge/parry to mastery/hit with hit reforged may end up with more survability when you included the extra str (parry) and armor and stamina.
http://www.wowhead.com/item=55059 (Reforge Dodge to Parry)
Puissant Dream Emerald in the socket
http://www.wowhead.com/item=62440 (Reforge Exp to Parry)
http://www.wowhead.com/item=62351 (Reforge Dodge to Parr)
Make the Change
http://www.wowhead.com/item=57932 (Reforge Dodge to Parry)
Keep the Dodge(at full) and Reforge the hit to Mastery
Reforge the Dodge to Parry
Reforge the CRIT instead of Hit to Mastery
Puissant Dream Emerald
Adept Ember Topaz
In General its better to go with an item that already has "Mastery" on it and then you can reforge the "Hit/Exp/Crit" to either Dodge or Parry. Try to reforge to Parry until around 14-15% and then let your Dodge come up naturally. Thats why I like the Red Rock ring for you, it has a very nice amount of Mastery. What I wrote above is for your current gear BUT I would try to focus on gear that COMES with Mastery already on it and that should help a ton. Anymore questions just throw me a PM or jump on Sen'jin and send a tell to Elfbane
O.o Agility/Mastery gems for a Plate Tank?
Shouldn't it be Parry/Mastery?
Thanks to reforging, it's nearly impossible for a higher ilvl tanking item to be weaker than a lower item level one. Exception for trinkets of course.
LOL woops YES I meant Parry/Mastery Sorry
With your Gear I would say forge everything BUT mastery into Parry until around 14%. After your gear starts to get better(especially if you go for gear that already has Mastery and Parry on it) you will start to go backwards and reforge INTO Dodge haha
I know its confusing, but thats the life of a Prot Warrior
BUT to answer your question,
I think you should just reforge the HIT to PARRY and leave your Dodge alone on that item
This thread answered a lot of my own questions too really, the only thing I would still love to see answered is the viability of the BS chest, as that seems quite lackluster compared to for example the JP one..
Hardened Elementium Hauberk
I agree with you,
The crafted ones are nice BUT I would call them a sideways upgrade from the JP one. Honestly its such a BIG jump from these two BP's to the Valor BP http://www.wowhead.com/item=60329
Which is BiS. Everyone should make the Valor BP the first thing they buy IMO.
So stay with the JP BP and when you have enough Valor buy the BP!!!!
I do mean those yes, I apologize for not being clear. But thanks for the answer, that's exactly what I was thinking really.. It's strange how they've managed to mess up the itemization on that one.