I’ve been a raider since vanilla. You got the best gear with either pvp or raiding back then and I can still remember that a large group of my raidteam that was geared up in Blackwing lair gear could easily dominate a battleground.
I hear a lot of old school raiders complain about the badges. “It’s too easy to get gear,” “the game is being made too easy”, things like that. I don’t think that’s entirely true. Most gear that you get from ICC is better than the gear you get from badges. So raiding is again ‘worth more’ then the badges.
I actually see it as an opportunity to be more flexible with your spec. Let me explain, I’m a druid and as most wow-players know, druids have different roles. I’ve been a healer/moonkin for years. At the raids my guild runs now, I’m always a resto. I will not roll on moonkin or feral gear if someone else can use it for their main spec. Now at times that can be a bit frustrating (believe me, questing in resto spec, not fun) and sometimes you just want to run around in a different spec and experience the game from that point of view.
My guild wouldn’t take me as anything but a resto since my gear for other specs is just not good enough for ICC. That’s where badges come in, you can get some good gear from them and it gives you the chance to chance your spec and joining in raids if you wanted to without people screaming: too low gearscore! (Not that my guildies would do that, but I do not want to feel like I’m being carried).
So, yeah I can see why people are a bit upset about getting gear with badges, but there are a lot of good points about having them too. I’m perfectly fine with badges in the game. If a player is bad, he will always be bad. Gear does not solve that.