Someone once told me that WoW is 2 games (at least in 1). The first game is the leveling from 1 to 80. This we all know is a mixture of quests, instances, grinding, what have you. I have done this successfully twice now. I did it first by leveling a character to 55, then took Michelinea to 80. Then went on and did other things with her in "Game 2".
After a while I got bored with that and seriously began working on my Alt Toon 1. Paci the stupendous (she's the Night Elf in the banner above). Over time I have slowly but surely gotten her to 80 through a series of fits and starts. Now she is 80 too, which led me into my second foray into Game 2.
Now, when Mich made 80, I didn't know what I was doing, so I really botched up and kicked around working on getting myself going Game 2. Game 2 is really the gearing up of your fresh level 80 out of the mass of random junk gear that you have acquired as you leveled, and begin getting yourself the EPIC gear that comes next making you one of the cool kids in whatever you decide you want to do now that you are 80. Me, I like doing PVE type stuff, so that is where I have focused my efforts both time, any PVP gear that I've picked up along the way has been pure coincidental.
Back when I was doing it with Mich, I had no idea what I was doing to start with, that coupled with the fact that it was much harder to do it back then it took me a very long time to get "epic" gear. I spent months and months attempting to get gear and floundering all over the place.
With the advent of the LFG and LFR tools in their current iteration it is significantly easier to get gear, particularly now where everyone and their sister is so full of gear that they just are willing to let a new 80 need on just about anything that they want. Add to that the fact that you can just queue heroics over and over for triumph badges, and you have a recipe to near immediate Tier 9 gear.
It has taken me to date less than 2 weeks of fooling around to have 3 of my 4 piece bonus in Tier 9. Add to that several purple drops randomly in Heroics and poof, I'm up over 3300 Gear Score. I know that 3300 seems low, I mean Mich is up over 5700 as of last check, but I think it proves that it can be done. New players coming up through the ranks, take heart, your gear will come to you, older players will help you, and keep your chin up when you get that random tool who feels that he should berate you for being new. Put him on /ignore and go on with your life, you too will soon be trying to kill the Lich King and joining the ranks of the uber leet.