[Update] Just a quick note to let you know Blizzard just released these items on the North American version of their store. I suppose the EU team just works faster and this wasn't a pander to the NA community after all.
Today three vanity gear items were added to the Blizzard Store, but only outside the US. Some time back we stumbled on the story that Blizzard would be adding an in-game cash shop to World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Right after our story Blizzard confirmed the rumor, saying that they are exploring the option, especially in the Asian territories where cash shops are more acceptable. Then they announced that they would be adding transmog gear to the Blizzard Store, a move that seems to support the in-game store format.
The three cosmetic items are head pieces, for sale for 12 Euros a piece -- a little over $15.00 USD. The backlash on the North American servers against the sale of gear is pretty fascinating when you take into account the fact that we've been buying vanity pets and mounts for years now. It's almost as if the moment that the items are wearable it crosses some line and offends their delicate American sensibilities.
It looks like Blizzard will only be putting up vanity items for the moment, but as we know they are looking to add in experience boosts, which in some circles translates to pay-to-play. I personally am fine with this payment model, as long as the game that uses it doesn't also have a subscription. WoW is the king of subscriptions, so it just doesn't make sense to also take on P2P items. As commenter Kardon mentioned though, there are players that would pay $15.00 so they could get through the lower levels for yet another alt.
Why do you think North American players are so against the idea of buying items to advance your MMO characters? Is it something in our culture perhaps? And what is your personal opinion on the vanity items -- would you pay nearly $16.00 for a shiny hat?