The other week I was running around Ironforge and saw a dwarf on a gothic looking horse. I had to look at it closely, but it turned out to be a Baron's horse - Deathcharger. That is, the one that falls from Baron Rivendare, one of the final bosses in Stratholme (a level 5ppl 60 donjon from vanilla WoW). Used to go there in a group and had a 0.02% chance of falling out.
Now Strath is all over the place solo and after Patch 3.0.2, the probability of falling out a horse is 1%. Asked the dwarf how many times he went to the Strat, to get a horse. He replied that 29 (twenty-nine). There you go. Twenty-nine times to go through the instance. In principle, the 80-th to farm this horse can just run up to the slaughterhouse, along the way putting three bosses in ziggurats and passing packs of treh. It won't take long, about 10-15 minutes, but at 1% chance you'll have to spend... you do the math.
Grinding and farming for some "valuable" item is one of WoW's basics. Or rather, one of the mechanisms that motivates players to spend a lot of time in the game. Take for example the Tier 2(Dragonstalker Armor for hunters) armor sets. Most of the pieces fell off the bosses in Black Wing Lair, including Nefarion. The other two pieces were helmet from Onyxia, and pants from Ragnaros in Onyxia Lair and Molten Core. All raid instances were designed for forty people, there might have been a few more hunters in the raid besides you. And it's not a fact that in this raid the necessary piece of the set will fall out of the boss. Plus, to reach Ragnaros, and even more so Nefarion (and take them down), you had to know exactly what to do, and how to do it. It took people months (!!!) to get the coveted teddy. Sounds like too cruel a way to keep people in the game to me. I think that this mechanic was not the least bit responsible for provoking serious game addiction.
Yes, it's easier now, badges-billets, but still how many times to go through the same Nax, to get a full set of T7? I don't know, now started looking into an upgrade to start raiding, we'll see how things go. That's what a couple of things from T7 I will, so that's for sure, but the prospect of many months farming the same donjon pleases little.
By the way, go once a week in fan-raids with co-guildmates, got myself three pieces of Dragonstalker Armor set, so to speak, for the collection. Ran into BWL on Friday. What can I say, even for fifteen blue-green 70-80s this donjon is no place for a picnic. On Ebonrock wiped three times until one full-T7 paladin was called. Lying in wait for the res, thought about how this whole thing went down in the WoW 1.xx era. It was hard, I think the life of a 60-man in those days.
P.S. I repent, got hooked on it myself. In principle, the elven saber-toothed I was not particularly necessary, as additions to the speed does not give, but wanted here and there. On the other hand - now I don't see any particular perks that I'd really like to pull on myself.