Perhaps Blizzard is viewing Valor gear as entirely optional in this expansion. That the best route for PvE players to get gear is to skip factions entirely and just run dungeons and raids. Meanwhile the players feel that capping out faction rep is the best path to gear.
I think the disconnect between the two views hinges on how both parties view randomness. I've mentioned before that I don't think raiders handle randomness particularly well, and I think this is yet another example of that.
If we just look at what gear is available and the timeline to acquire it, I suspect that gear that drops from instances will account for the vast majority of slots, and players will only have one or two pieces of valor gear, even if they cap out reputations as fast as they can.
But instance drops are random, and raiders tend to discount randomness. Or they expect the worst possible outcome of that randomness. But Valor gear is entirely under their control. They guarantee themselves a piece of valor gear, even if it is more probably that they will get enough gear just through random drops.
That difference between randomness and guaranteed result pushes the raider to focus her efforts on the guaranteed result, even if that path is far more work per item than purely running instances.