The WOW token is live. Blizzard did a good job in implementing it, mostly by making sure that it wasn't at all the same as the regular AH. It isn't players selling to each other but rather just a floating price based on whether or not there are currently a positive or negative number of tokens in inventory. If more have been bought the price rises and if more have been sold the price drops. Every 15 minutes it adjusts either up 1% or down 1% based on that.
They launched with tokens costing 30k gold and just let it go. It popped up just slightly but then went on a long slide down to about 20k on my server and is now back up around 23k. It has only been two days so we don't know the long term trend for sure but it seems Blizzard hit the ballpark just fine. Personally I thought the price would drop and didn't buy a token when it hit 20k hoping for it to go lower, but then it popped back up and I bought my 30 days for 23k. Not as good as I could have done but better than buying right away.
After doing so I got curious about how long it would take me to earn that money. Each day I run around my garrison doing chores, daily transmutes, picking flowers, sending followers out, etc. I end up making about 2500g in 12 minutes and since I have 2 characters I rack up roughly 5000g per day. My total time invested is probably closer to 30 mins though since I have to hit up the AH and farm wolves occasionally to feed the machine. That puts my gold/hour at 10,000, so to fund my one month I put in 2.3 hours of time. Since I could buy that time for $15, I am making $6.52 per hour. Not great, even when it is post tax money.
Of course I can't think of all my money making in that light because I can't exactly exchange my gold at that rate continuously... I am capped at $15 a month. It is also interesting that I can't amp up my production significantly because any activities I do to make gold beyond that baseline are drastically less efficient. I can run dungeons on Redcape as a tank once per day for 800 gold / hour, which is pretty great, but still not nearly as good as doing my basic activities. There is also not much incentive to do that when I make 150,000g per month and can't possibly spend that unless I go completely nuts somehow.
Given that income I am definitely going to keep on funding my monthly fee with gold. It will only take 15% of my income to maintain so I won't even really notice it in terms of capital accumulation. That assumes that the price remains constant but I can't imagine it going outside my range. I am willing to pay a lot more than 23k if I have to and it might well drop.
Here's hoping that this puts a massive dent in the illicit gold selling market. I look forward to less hacked accounts and less gold spam as the 3rd party gold farmers are squeezed out of the market by legitimate alternatives. Fighting them with bans never worked but I suspect legalization of their market will... where have I heard that before?