I disagree, with the new tabard system and the plethora of rep gear available, getting to critical minimum is easier than it ever has been. (and you can even get the cheap pvp stuff for the resillience on the way), do you expect to just hit 80 and be entitled to go to heroics (like all of the sub 1k dps seem to)?, normals exist for the very reason of new people getting upgrades in a less challenging environment, perhaps instead of complaining that your gear isnt up to what you are trying to do immediately, you go and work on it in the areas you are geared for.
One of the defining things about tanking is simply, that it isn't easy, yes, you do have to carry multiple gearsets for different purposes, and sometimes, gear isn't a straight upgrade it's a situational sidegrade, wearing one set of gear all the time , well that's the province of the dps guys (and even they have to juggle pieces to maintain their hit cap).
I'll freely admit that getting set up to tank hydross was a speed hump, of course in contrast, as the tank, i was the only one who _didn't_ have to get shadow resistance gear for Sharaz, so it balanced out in the end.
If your tanks weren't geared for hydross it was simply due to laziness and lack of a sensible guild gearing structure (these are the exact reason things like guild banks exist for).
In short, half the battle as a tank is gearing appropriately, it's another challenge and , personally , I enjoy having all of those choices to make and balance. It's a role where there is optimal, and then there is everything else, and _that's_ why I love it.