I've spent most of the weekend perusing the various WotLK postings to see what's coming down the pike. While there's a lot of information flying around, very little of it seems to be tradeskill oriented. Most of the articles I've seen focus on new "spells" that were presumably farmed from the alpha/beta servers, which consist of an item description with no crafting details. At this point MMO-Champion seems to be the most comprehensive source of concrete data, they are posting actual screenshots of recipes on their site. These items are so fresh off the truck that we can't really count on them being final for when WotLK is released, but it should give a rough idea where Blizzard is tracking at the moment.
I'm just going to share a small example of the Blacksmithing items that have been posted - there are only six of them but I think they give us a good eye-opener of what's in store. Here's a new Tanking item made by Smiths compared to an item that drops in Karazhan:
Kara: Mantle of Abrahmis [ 21 STR | 43 STA | 23 DEF | 2 sockets]
WotLK: Cobalt Shoulders [33 STR | 50 STA| 33 DEF]
Even if you tried to fill the gem sockets to make up the gap in stats with the existing piece, you wouldn't be able to do it. Granted, this new armor requires level 72 instead of 70 for the Mantle, but it's also a green item crafted by a smith and not an epic drop from the second half of Karazhan (Netherspite).
Another example, this time requiring level 71:
Kara: Wrynn Dynasty Greaves [24 STR | 48 STA | 27 DEF | 29 Dodge | 3 sockets]
WotLK: Cobalt Legplates [43 STR | 68 STA | 37 DEF ]
Again, we're looking at a 20-30% increase in stats which would be impossible to compensate for with gems in the socketed item. From this example it would appear that the first wave of gear in WotLK is going to be Kara-quality stuff. I guess that's not too surprising when you consider my previous stance about WotLK being tuned for players in quest-level blues to start. I based that assumption on all the easy blue gear that was added in the last few patches (Shattered Sun + PVP starter gear on faction vendors). This sneak peek into the early crafted gear seems to support that assumption. Yay me!
Go visit MMO-Champion pages and check out the other tradeskill recipes they have posted. The Leatherworking and Enchanting categories looked a bit rough to me, I think there's still some clean-up needed on the items. The LW list had several items designated as cloth and some of the items were clearly incomplete on their stats. And the Enchanting list had a number of items that still showed +Heal and +Spell Dmg values despite the proposed change to migrate to one stat for both. The good news with Enchanting is that wands are back (woot!) and it looks like Inscription *may* give us a way to sell our chants on the auction ('woot' on hold until I know more). On the plus side, it looks like Jewelcrafting will get a lot of new gem types that should allow even more stat combinations. The data on Inscription is still pretty skimpy though, only two ingredients are listed that are actually available now. Alchemy so far looks like just more of the same, with the exception of one little goodie advertising itself as "Pygmy Oil". Hmm....