For the last week or so I've been working on Blacksmithing (in addition to Jewelcrafting) on the Beta realm. The biggest task, as you might imagine, is collecting all the ore. The first 25 points of Blacksmithing will run you about 350 ore, the next 25 points will require another 350 or so. The final 25 points will take about 380 ore in addition to 120 Eternals (aka primals).
But there's some good news here: the Eternals you need will be available via mining much like motes of earth are now. The other good bit of news is that you don't need to cap to get the nice items, once you hit 440 you'll be able to make epic gear. The only thing you need 450 to craft is the belt buckle. And the vast majority of those 120 Eternals are used in the last 10 points in Blacksmithing, so if you decide not to push through beyond crafting the gear you need, that's an option.
The other good news is that we'll be able to make blue(rare) items fairly early in the progression. So if you decide to use a bit more ore per skill point, you can likely sell some of your wares instead of sending them off for disenchantment or vendoring. There will be lots of newly minted Death Knights roaming around and they'll be needing some gear. Hopefully Blacksmiths will be able to take advantage of the influx of plate wearers.
The process of skilling up is pretty easy and straightforward, I personally haven't felt it was nearly as painful as the 350-375 range from BC. There are even a few BC recipes you can use for the first few points. I made a couple Ragesteel Shoulders and got skill points for both. So if you want to save up mats to make these early items you can. I figure the Death Knights will give us a market for some low level gear. The Eternium Rod is not an option in WotLK, even though it appears to be now. When I arrived in Northrend that recipe was gray, so don't bother stockpiling eternium. And if you decide to make one of the other 365+ blue items, I wouldn't try for more than five for points unless you just have a ton of BC mats on hand.
I also made a couple of Cobalt Rods, just so I'd have one for my enchanter and a couple to sell. Sadly they are selling for nothing on the Beta server (5g compared to 100g for a cut green gem) but presumably players won't be so bone-headed and stupid on a real server. I planned my recipes to take the lowest number of bars for each 5-pt wave. Right now in the Beta, you are basically forced to switch to new recipes every 5 points. They may change this before Live, but so far almost every recipe has gone yellow 5 skill points after I trained it. The only exception so far has been the Deadly Saronite Dirk, which is still Orange at 410 (learned at 405). This could be an oversight though, so I wouldn't plan on that for any recipes. Right now I'm sitting at 410 and I'm going to try to push through to 440 on the Beta server. Sorry, I don't love you folks enough to grind the last 10 points on epic gear. I'm sure you can figure that out for yourselves :)
At this point I've gone through 420 Cobalt Ore and 70 Saronite Ore to hit 410. I expect to use another 300 Saronite Ore and 80 Titanium Ore to reach 440, plus 10 Crystallized Earth and 10 Crystallized Air along with the ore. For the remaining skill points from 440-450, you'll need something like 80 Saronite Ore, 240 Titanium Ore, 40 Eternal Water and 80 Eternal Earth. The exact number depends on which items you choose to craft of course, this is just a ballpark for the 'cheapest' items.
In general, I think this progression will be easier than BC due to the lower Eternal requirements to reach the epic plans. Beyond that it's up to the player whether they want to continue powering up or just make the items they need and stop. The only bad news is that mail armor is still absent. Since they just patched in a bunch of new Leatherworking recipes last night including mail items, I have a terrible suspicion that mail is going to be exclusively in the Leatherworking camp with WotLK. I'll be working on the new LW recipes this week, so stay tuned!