As you've mentioned, Emblems of Conquest are the best way to essentially skip content.
There's several items you can get from Conquest Emblems which are Tier 8 chest and helm, a neck piece, gloves, and legs. If you really want to farm heroics then you can also get legs and shoulders of Tier 7 (by converting Conquest > Valor). I'd start with replacing your chest, then working on what would give you the biggest upgrade from there on.
I would definitely recommend getting the Indestructible Plate Girdle crafted as it's still a very good belt with 3 sockets. If you don't wish to spend the gold on this, there is also a belt available with Conquest Emblems.
There are some very good crafted tanking bracers (Saronite Swordbreakers) available with the latest instance that require Crusader Orbs if you have the gold. These won't be replaced for quite a while.
On top of that if you do the Heroic Daily or find yourself in a Toc10/25 group you'll gain Triumph emblems which have very good ilevel 245 items (helm and ring) and access to the next level of tiered gear.