I noticed a couple of guilds on my server recruiting for Cataclysm (already?). At least one was a serious raiding guild who does 25 HMs, and they were clear: we have no room for you now, but we are recruiting you for the expansion, to be able to raid with us when we get to 85.
For the Guild...
This is a fantastic idea from the management standpoint. Coming up on summer, the fluctuations in the raiding roster are will be dramatic, and having folks willing to jump on board and wait around for something to happen means you'll have some stand-ins when you need them. It's also great for the guild environment - new players who haven't raided with their guild yet are likely to be friendly and helpful, peppering guild chat with good morale.
Telling players they won't be able to raid until Cataclysm is honesty, and I can appreciate that. Their long-term goals are to always have plenty of players able to raid, and recruiting months ahead of schedule means that even when some players quit (which is inevitable with expansions, between burnt-out tanks and healers or players of all roles who just don't like the new systems). Hats off to these guilds for anticipating (and covering) their needs well before they happen. They understand they need to recruit lots - now, when Cataclysm ships, and as players reach 85 and begin to raid.
For the Player...
If you want to raid, this is a terrible idea to join a guild knowing you're going to be benched for the next six+++ months. At least! Even if Cataclysm should come out this summer (which I highly doubt), there will still be the grind to 85, the grinding of heroics, and the waiting for enough people to do the same. We won't be doing Cataclysm raids before Christmas, and even that's an unrealistic timeline. With that in mind, why would you join a guild knowing you're going to be benched until then, if not months longer (can a raid spot in t11 really be guaranteed?).
It's one thing, if you've already killed the Lich King, to join this way. I can see how a player who's been there/done that, and needs a break until Cataclysm. This could be a sweet deal for you, because you don't have to fully retire, you just take a permanent benching, free of obligations for attendance and performance for a few months to prepare for the next expansion and maybe focus on some RL priorities in the meantime.
If you haven't done everything you wanted to do in raiding (I believe most of us haven't), you should consider your options. There are plenty of guilds ready to take you right now, and get you raiding this weekend. Perhaps they aren't as hardcore as the ones who are recruiting to bench, but odds are there's a good fit for your level of experience and the guild's level of progression, who'd be thrilled to have you right now.
The long and short of it is, don't be dazzled by a guilds achievements thinking that they have the right to treat you like a commodity. If you interviewed for a company who didn't want to hire you until 2011 (perhaps not even then), would you take them seriously? Like I mentioned above, most guilds will be mass-recruiting when the level cap is raised AND as t11 is rolled out. Don't be fooled into thinking this is once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You'll see almost every guild recruiting again.
(Taking a break from the Mario series to bring this up. Also, have a few more posts in the works for guild recruitment, holydins, and the healing team. For blog management, I added the RSS feed button, working on a new header, and I'm going to try to be better about tags so that they produce better categories).