I popped over to the PTR last week to check out the latest build. I keep hoping to see new crafted goodies, or if nothing else find the Ashen Verdict quartermaster. Sadly I flew all over Icecrown Citadel and still didn't find a vendor of any kind. And now, the blue button of Dev harrassment is gone. This means they are no longer accepting in-game feedback and presumably testing is winding down on Patch 3.3. If the IC vendor is not there now, he may never show up before Live. More likely - he's somewhere I cannot go. I have a sneaky suspicion that he's inside the raid instance. I really hope I'm wrong and they aren't reserving the new recipes for raiders only.
When I first saw the recipes for Patch 3.3, I was excited. They appear to be faction-based, instead of raid drops like our last two waves of new recipes (UD/ToC). Not that I like faction grinds, I don't particularly enjoy them. But I do like it better than random raid drops. In my view, raid drops are actually the worst distribution method for recipes. Not only are they random, but they cater only to raiders. Casuals have no reasonable way to acquire them. Naturally raiders charge obscene amounts to craft these items due to their relative rarity. At least a faction grind is theoretically available to all players.
This assumes of course that rep can be gained within the five man dungeons. If only raid kills grant rep, then casuals are once again shut out. I certainly hope this is not the case. Since this is the last major patch before Cataclysm, I can't see what harm it would do to make IC goodies available to all players. Come the next expansion, we'll all be at ground zero for raid gear anyway.
You could even say there's a precedent for the casual-fication of end game content. In Burning Crusade, the Sunwell patch made epic gem recipes available to all through a new rep grind. It also made epic gems themselves more available, so all of us could upgrade our toon even if we couldn't raid for better gear. Surely it's not a big deal to allow something similar for WotLK's last hurrah? I truly hope that five-man dungeons are included in the faction grind for Icecrown. Then those of us who aren't on the bleeding edge of raid content will have a way to get new recipes too :)
Perhaps this Tuesday we'll find out...