I'm so close on the hunter. So of course there is maintenance today. Just 5 bars to go, and I'll have my fourth toon at level 85. And it will be happening today. (Unless of course 1/11/11 ends up being the day of eternal maintenance because something about that strangely binary string of date numbers caused Blizzard's servers to inexplicably implode).
So I've been providing a pretty decent string of updates on my leveling progress, but realized that I hadn't really been talking about my professions at all. So quick update on that as well:
My first toon out of the gate, the Paladin, has maxed his Mining skill and is almost there on Jewelcrafting. I'm not in a big hurry on Jewelcrafting since that's really more about acquiring all of the recipes than it is about necessarily getting to max level. All that being said, I'm around 515 or so, so pretty close.
On my Druid, my skinning is maxed (because really, how hard is that?). I've barely even started on leatherworking though. The skinning mats were just selling to well, and I just couldn't see any major benefit to working leatherworking all the way through at this point.
On Joar, he has maxed his cooking and is diligently working on fishing dailies. I'm working on both enchanting and tailoring but both are in the 490 range. Again - no big hurry here.
My hunter has maxed his alchemy, which is a huge money maker for me at this point, and he's getting pretty close on herbalism. The next toon up after the hunter is going to be the shaman. His professions are herbalism and inscription. Not sure I'm going to be in a big hurry on inscription, but we'll see. The Darkmoon cards, as always, are selling really well.
With the hunter, I've been leveling him as beast mastery and it's been extremely easy. My little bear mini-tank can stand up to just about anything. The rotation is very easy and extremely forgiving. There are quite a few cooldowns to keep track of, but if you don't bother with them much while questing, it's really not a big deal. I try to use Bestial Wrath as much as possible along with Focus Fire and that certainly helps speed things along. Leveling as a hunter for me is like running an instance in miniature. Send your "tank" in. Get a HOT rolling on him. Misdirect to him if you're so inclined. Wait for him to build aggro a bit then blow the bad guys away. Rinse and repeat.
The shaman is going to be next, and looking at the various quest rewards, I think it should be fine leveling him as elemental. This whole expansion doesn't seem to be all that wildly friendly to melee classes. The more you can do to make the mob dead before it even gets to you, the better of you'll be at the end of the day. And elemental is all about making things dead fast.
I briefly debated sticking to resto with the Shaman and trying to level him purely through the dungeon finder just to compare the times. I might still go that route, but we'll see.