My main has 3 522 pieces, one 502, some upgraded 496s and I'm still way below 500. Why should I farm LFR for months until I'm ready for normal mode? That's how long it is going to take with the current drop rate. Most players in my guild are even less geared even though they have more normal mode kills. I guess I'm not doing ToT with them anytime soon.
Clearing Ulduar hard modes wasn't required for entering Trial of the Crusader or even ICC.