Enter 3.3. Emblems of Triumphs available for farming.
Fast forward a few weeks to today.
I've got no further upgrades to look forward to as a tank.
Not true. I do have a few left, but the list is incredibly short.
1. Farm the new heroics, hoping to get a Battered Hilt and then win the following need roll by everyone. I mean, it's worth so much that anyone will roll need even if they already have it to sell it to someone else, just like any BoE epic. In effect, I can do it as long as it is fun, but I don't have any desire to farm every mob in there just to increase my chance of it dropping by 0.01% per run.
2. Fly around and get Titanium, smelt Titansteel, and get crafted BoE gear that requires Crusader Orbs, purchasable with Emblembs of Triumph. However... titanium is a rare spawn node... Bah. Boring. I do grind sometimes on off-hours, though.
3. Buy stuff. Always an option. But then I'd have to grind gold. Bah. Boring. Can quest, though, there are some storylines it would be neat to finish before WotLK ends.
4. Join pug raids, particularly Onyxia 25-man, Icecrown Citadel, TotC 25-man, TotGC or VoA. Hope for some drops. I'm actually geared enough to tank ICC 25 now.
5. Get 2 frost Emblems of Frost every day from the random heroic, and 5 from the weekly raid. Slowly upgrade stuff. Next will probably be the +226 stamina trinket. 2.5k extra health? Now we're talking.
Meanwhile, I'm spending my Emblems of Triumph on ilvl 232 PVP gear. Joining an arena team now ... about time. I've got the solution to my schedule problem: I'll join a 2vs2 and 3vs3 with the same two guys. When I'm not available, they'll go with their 2vs2. When all are available, 3vs3. Then I don't need to drag down any arenamate relying only on me.