The fact that Cookie's Tenderizer from the Deadmines had +3 instead of +2 strength. The fact that the Stormwind south bank had one instead of two mailboxes. The fact that Jaina's Proudmore's name was "Jaina Proudmore" instead of "Jaina Proudless." Stuff like this isn't what mattered. It was arbitrary. If Cookie had dropped a shield instead of a mace and Jaina had been named Susan, nobody would have cared. It wasn't specific details like these that caused us to enjoy the game.
2. Your DH needs supplies on a regular basis. They can only carry so much food, clean drink, medical potions and whatever else they want/need at a time. It's pretty realistic that they would need to visit a market every so often, and large faction markets will have the most variety and types of items to choose from. (My DH has been a recluse in the wild for some time, and she is stinky, dirty and has eaten some questionable stuff. This isn't really ideal and a Dalaran doughnut would be pretty flippin nice.)