Right now I don't see very many people striving to acquire elite gear with the fact you don't actually gain any power from doing so, in fact it only makes for an annoyance due to the reacquiring of gems/enchants/etc.
This has probably been thought up of before so I'm not claiming to be original here, but why not simply allow for Elite gear to be upgraded. Allowing for people to acquire a moderate boost through upgrading their elite pieces without skewering Blizzard's ideals too much.
As of right now once you've acquired Conquest gear there is no reason to go through the effort of acquiring the Elite version - the pain is more than the reward. People need a boost in performance to consider pursuing something, aesthetics alone isn't appealing enough.
Heck, it could be only a one-time boost of 4 item levels and that would suffice. Something still superior without being too powerful. But the current design Blizzard is pursuing removes proper incentive. They need to realize that most people don't care for aesthetics very much, and if they do most would simply transmogrify from older, typically better appearing outfits.