And that's exactly the problem caused specifically by the new 5.2/5.4 catch-up systems. Blizzard already had a working solution to problems with players being stuck months behind everybody else - we saw it working during WotLK. The catch-up systems in MoP are just fixing something which wasn't broken in the first place.
The catch up systems in MoP didn't try to fix the old system. It's just that it's less work than designing whole new dungeons.
There have been many threads which argue that older content should not be rendered obsolete by catch up mechanics of a new patch. There are people however who say that if it weren't for the catch up mechanics, many players wouldn't stay in the game. So, what if the completion of previous raid tiers was mandatory for players to progress to the current tier? Maybe there could be a system that awarded players automatically gear for their class/spec if they were in an older tier, so that they don't have to do it more than 1-2 times.
Would you be in favor of a system like this?
If you asked this of me 4+ years ago, I'd say, is there any other way?
Now, fuck, NO. Just don't have the time to raid 5+ hours a night. Recruiting and trials were a pain in the ass, I wouldn't like revisited. It just doesn't make for a friendly game anymore. Sure it keeps content in rotation, but it limits the amount of "fresh" content one might see. I would rather wipe on progression and waste time there.
I DO like attunements, I just love the thought process that leads to them. It doesn't have to be the fuckfest of previous attunements. Why can't it be just complete all the quests in a certain zone? Or complete all 5man Heroics? Simple and makes sense to the game.
Make sure raids don't attune other raids. It's that simple, make it so you can complete them solo or in the Dungeon Finder. It'd be cool if you could get a cinematic with the attunements, as well. I'm not talking CGI production or anything, but like Character Creation cinematic.
There is just so much depth and storytelling they could do with attunements, that just lacks in today's era. Perhaps stuff like Hyjal/Raggy quest chain. It ensures the person knows WHY they are there, in story.