Well the big hullabaloo has been passed and here I sit, still thinking about the in game pets on sale for $10 by Blizzard. After seeing some other blog entries and comments, a couple points stand out.
1. This is really no different than offering Blizzcon TV coverage and a murloc Halo pet for $35. You still are paying money for an in game pet, no matter that you are also paying for television coverage of an event so well covered by the internet already. If you are OK with that pet in the game, there's really not a huge difference now.
2. Blizzard is pumping out as much money as they can get from the game. Players demand cool status symbol pets, Blizzard delivers (for a fee). Players demand faction changes, Blizzard delivers (for a fee). Players demand haircuts, Blizzard delivers (for fee in gold). Players demand race changes, Blizzard delivers (for a fee). Players demand server transfers, Blizzard delivers (for a fee). Blizzard is giving you all the play options and customization you want, but if you do not get it right in the beginning character selection page, you will pay for it. This is just more customization in my opinion.
3. Pets are a far cry from gear. Maybe I'm completely wrong and someday Blizzard will be so desperate that they will offer epics or even legendaries for real cold hard cash, but I just don't see it right now. They want more people accessing endgame content and have made the game very easy for a casual like me to at least see the endgame when we want to. This probably is not so good for hardcores, but it is a change that has not made the masses demand epics for real cash. With little or no demand, Blizzard will not be jumping on the bandwagon of risking subscriptions to sell gear.
So yeah it looks like a slippery slope to the end of WoW, but we've heard this all before. Then Patch 3.3 will drop and nobody will remember the fight as we all turn our attention to game content again. Then Cataclysm will drop and we will squeal like fanboys and fangirls, at least for a little while.
Oh and one quick fire...Patch 3.3 notes updated tonight and Oculus is being heavily nerfed to cater to the fact that there's rewards for doing a random heroic dungeon daily each day. Oculus was by far the hardest of the heroics, even probably topping ToC. So while it's not a huge deal, I'm kind of sad that things like Glory of the Hero will be much much easier considering about 1/3 of the really difficult achievements were in Oculus.