the developers don't want fresh 90s to skip previous content and jump into the newest, so you'll still need 480 item level, but all the changes introduced to previous content will definitely help catch up quicker (lower prices, higher drop chance...)
this is a major change recent expansions, where a freshly-leveled alt could immediately be handed enough gear from the main to jump into the newest 5-mans and be raid ready in a matter of hours. in 5.2, every alt which dings 90 will still need to do dailies to unlock valor point vendors, and then have to farm valor through some combination of old dailies, old scenarios, and old heroics, just to reach the point where they can enter the new lfr. whereupon they can began grinding more rep and more valor so they can replace the epics they just worked their digital butts of to buy.
no want. the shiny is gone.
currently, when a pet reaches level 25, it's as good as it will get (assuming it's a rare). the pets I level today are just as ready for action as the ones that dinged two weeks into the expansion.
i really hope blizzard has the sense to keep it this way.