You are just reinforcing why some of us can't stand the AH. You plainly state that you expected it to take X time to get to Y level, and in doing that calculation you included the use of the AH. So now for someone doesn't want to use the AH, due to prices, or that it just isn't a fun way to level, has had there time needed to gear up greatly increased.
The AH should be a way to gear faster. Not something everyone should have to use to be at Y power by X time.
see my post in this thread for a solution:
I thought about this solution too, it makes a lot of sense. Blizzard though will never make this feature as it will decrease the potential RMAH revenue. I believe this option would become very popular, very fast. The AH would only be used by a minority of players, thus killing the revenue coming off the RMAH.
A better solution to me would be to get rid of the Gold AH completely, but keep the RMAH. The item proliferation would decrease dramatically if there was only a RMAH (as not everyone would be using this service obviously), thus they could increase the individual items drop rates quite a bit. The RMAH would still be there as a continuous cash flow.
I would even go as far as saying the RMAH would be even more popular if there was no gold AH, which is a good thing for Blizzard.