Everyone knows that gear makes raids easier. Trust me, once our healers get some better gear raiding will be easier for us. That goes without saying. What many people do not realize is that gear helps everywhere.
I often see casual players complaining about heroic difficultly saying they do not raid but they want heroic gear. Usually that is followed by someone saying, if you do not raid you do not need heroic gear. I disagree. Even if you do not raid having heroic gear matters. A lot.
From my personal experience here are numbers as best as I can recall them, roughly rounded of course.
315 gear - 1 hour and 30 minutes
329 gear - 1 hour
338 gear - 30 minutes
350 gear - 15 minutes
Tol Barad Dailies:
315 gear -
Outside: 1 hour 30 minutes Tank and some others - Undoable without a group.
Inside: No way in hell.
329 gear -
Outside: 1 hour, Tank might be doable solo by some classes.
Inside: 1 hour 30 minutes if you get lucky and lots of others are doing them as well. If you are the only one going in the building, they are undoable. Problem can be soloed by some classes.
338 gear -
Outside: 45 minutes, Tank can be soloed my most classes.
Inside: 1 hour 30 minutes, same as before, if you get lucky. Problem can be soloed by about 1/2 the classes now.
350 gear -
Outside: Less then 30 minutes, some classes even 20. Tank can easily be soloed by anyone.
Inside: 40 minutes max, some classes even 25. Problem can be soloed by anyone that isn't a healer, exception of smite healers.
The usual tell tale sign of a casual player is the time they have available to play. Most casual players would probably make excellent raiders and actually better then most raiders. They just do not have the time to invest in the game to raid.
By that logic, a casual player needs the gear more then a raider does. For a casual player to get the most done with their day they need to do it quickly as they do not have a lot of time. The difference between quest gear and being full out heroic gear is huge when it comes to questing. A casual player, to enjoy the game, needs that heroic gear because there is nothing fun about only having 2 hours to play and not even being able to fit in a dungeon and all your dailies.
Gear makes everything easier. Even dailies.
Have a problem with a quest. Gear will fix it. Gear fixes almost everything.
If anything I think the gear will fix it line works more for casuals then it does for raiders.
Most casuals will get good use out of better gear, it makes their questing faster so they can enjoy the game more. Most raiders, no matter how much gear they have, will still stand in the fire and die. Gear can not fix that.