The question burning through my mind and the minds of most of the people I interact with regularly is what to do about the currency. We know that Cataclysm is bringing with it (i.e. 4.0.1 is bringing it) currency conversions for all emblems, including Badges of Justice, as well as a new honor point system. That raises the types of questions of what should we do with what we have? I was recently even asked whether we should grind and get our BOAs now or wait until 4.0.1 was live and then do it.
My response was uneducated at the time, thinking that the prices for gear would be relatively the same and that grinding the new mechanics would work it out for them to know how the changes in systems is working. But I was wrong. For the general cost of gear, it is on par for what they cost in emblems (an Emblem of frost being ~11 JP and the standard piece being 1100) but I was mistaken in the rest of the answer.
So now I have done my research and I have resolved the bad advice and I want to share what I found with all the readers who are asking the same questions.
The current cost of 1-80 hierlooms on the PTR is much higher then it should be. Teir 10-251 gear costs 695/1100 JP, whereas the heirlooms cost 2700/3500 JP.
The cost of heirlooms in 4.0.1 has been intentionally increased above what they currently cost to match the gain of points players will see at level 85. It’s recommended that if you want to buy heirlooms you do so now before 4.0.1 is released, or wait until after purchasing Cataclysm, leveling to 85, and running that content for points.
The conversion rates for Emblems -> Justice Points, as well as the “drop-rate” have been released as well.
These changes are expected to happen in patch 4.0.1 and to come with a soft cap of points meaning that you can be converted to have more than 4000 but you will be unable to receive any more until you are under the cap. With 4.0.3 comes a hard cap of no one being able to break the 4000 cap for any reason (source).
The drop rate for the points versus the method in which emblems were dropped is:
Lich King Heroic dungeon boss — 16 Justice Points
Lich King daily normal dungeon — 12 Justice Points
Lich King daily Heroic dungeon — 23 Justice Points
Lich King raid boss — 23 Justice Points
Cataclysm Heroic dungeon boss — 75 Justice Points
Cataclysm daily normal dungeon — 75 Justice Points
Cataclysm daily Heroic dungeon — 75 Valor Points
Cataclysm 10-player raid boss — 75 Valor Points
Cataclysm 25-player raid boss — 105 Valor Points
This is to prohibit gaining points from places we would have “out-grown” (source).
So the ultimate idea is to buy your BOAs and spend your honor now while you have it and while you know WTF is going on. Good luck to you and I hope this helps answer any questions and resolve any doubts you had.