Bashiok has provided further clarification
on the Darkmoon Island artifacts that drop from dungeons, Battlegrounds, and raids that are turned in for Darkmoon tickets
-- these will continue to drop for players who have a Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide regardless of whether the Faire is in town. These artifacts can be saved up and turned in when the Darkmoon Island event is taking place, so don't worry about grinding out these artifacts this week only. This makes me a very happy Faire-goer.
Darkmoon Artifacts will drop regardless of whether the faire is in town
Just to clarify one point, the quest drops that happen in the dungeons/raids/BG's happen all the time, even if the faire isn't in town. Think of it sort of like the Darkmoon Card redemptions. You're out playing all month, while you're doing stuff you're getting chances at the items, then when the faire is in town you turn it all in. (It's also worth pointing out that the turn-in items aren't soulbound, so just like the cards I'd expect some people to farm them just to put them up on the AH.)
It's really just this first week and appearance of the faire that's off because the Darkmoon Adventurer's Guide wasn't available for the 3 weeks prior. When it rolls around next month there should be better feel for how the whole system and ticket acquisition rate feels.
Brace yourselves for what could be some of most exciting updates to the game recently with patch 4.3. Review the official patch notes, and then dig into what's ahead: new item storage options, cross-realm raiding, cosmetic armor skinning and your chance to battle the mighty Deathwing -- from astride his back!