This fact means that the majority of the rep rewards are simply unsuitable to be called rewards. The few things that aren't a gear reward, like mounts, tabards, and even cool vanity toys, ARE worth grinding the rep for, just to say you did it. However, who's going to grind those reps more than once to get those items?
Then there are the profession recipes. Stuff like weapon and bracer enchants, epic crafting patterns, and even JC mounts. The kinds of rewards that you offer from reputation should be things that you can't get anywhere else, and are timeless in their effectiveness as a reward. If I want enchanting recipes, I go to an enchanting trainer. If I want tailoring recipes, I go to a tailoring trainer. If I want JC recipes, I go to a JC trainer.
This is why gear/recipe are bad for rep rewards. No one is going to grind for that gear when the next tier of content comes out. No one is going to grind for those recipes next expansion. On top of all that, the rep grind is ridiculously long and counter intuitive for preparing for any kind of end game progression.
If the argument for rep being this way is that it's meant to be 'casual,' then we've got a problem. There's nothing casual about logging in every day for weeks and spending a couple hours per character per day doing quests specifically for rep to gain rewards which aren't even very good.
While the quests themselves aren't very difficult and the rep comes fairly easily, it's far too time consuming to be called 'casual.' Especially when you consider alts and their progression too.
It's obvious that reps aren't working as they should, regardless of what was originally intended. It's blatantly obvious that reps should work across your entire account, and not just be character specific. The only think left to discuss is whether or not Blizzard will do what makes sense and fix this. If they decide not to, it's just one more game system that suffers because of their inability to use common sense.