Drustvar is far and away the hardest Alliance zone, which is exactly why you want to do it first. If you have legendary items, they’ll still be usable, and if you don’t, this zone will still be easier early on than it will be later. Drustvar is also extremely fast and will let you jump out ahead of your competition in other zones, which means fewer players around to take your quest objectives.
At level 80, I skipped Cataclysm and went straight to Pandaria. Even as my warrior leveled up, and that heirloom axe increased in iLvl along with me, Dugi still ranked that iLvl 87 sword higher. I kept picking up new 2h weapons, and Dugi kept rejecting them in favor of that Wrath sword. That's when I noticed that all of these Pandaria weapon drops, even weapons 20 iLvls higher than the Wrath sword, had secondaries under 20. So even though Dugi Gear Advisor is showing that a new weapon would provide a DPS increase, it still prompts me to re-equip that Wrath sword every time I equip a new weapon. Meanwhile, I've kept the heirloom axe in my bags, assuming that at some point its stats would once again beat whatever I had equipped, but nope, it doesn't, according to Dugi.
Possibly the most complicated Addon I have ever used it is also one of the most powerful. You can build custom Visual and Audio warnings for virtually any situation in the Game. I have used it for Buff Stacks Low HP and Ability Cooldowns many times over the years on various Characters. Blizzard added similar Visual Warnings in Cataclysm.Git Repository: https://github.com/Geigerkind/ModifiedPowerAuras
Determine the gear stats and armor type you need for your new character. For example, a paladin requires Strength as their main stat, and heavy armor (the armor type) will scale as the character scales if they are initially unable to wear heavy armor due to being a lower level. Your optimal heirloom gear set will feature the same main stat as your starting gear.
Anyway, there are no more shortcuts. There are no more "Tricks". It's just straight questing now since Blizzard nerfed other methods of leveling. You can still do dungeon spam, it just won't be as fast. You can still do BGs, it just won't be as fast. Just about the only alternative way to level that rivals questing is Pet Battles(which makes ZERO sense).