Having just went through that I found I was about 47 when I got my first legendary from the Volume II quest chain that was mentioned, it's worthwhile to do all the extra quests that will be offered in the area, but you can just skip ahead.
Thank you, too, Nasis! I'm currently at lvl 20/21 with 2 characters right now and am steadily plugging along and generally farting around in Bree. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing out on anything because I got the Moria expansion shortly after going VIP. My only reason for doing that was because I could afford to at the time but again, just wanted to make sure! Thanks again!
Since I just did this with my Loremaster I can confirm that you can equip your first LI as soon as you complete the quest series and get it. I finished and equipped prior to hitting 46. That said, as far as I know that and the second class quest item you get afterwards are the only LIs you will find that you can equip until level 50 as all other LIs in the game have min level 50 and up on them.