I think this may have been a case of that specific sword simply having wildly inflated secondaries. If I recall correctly, when I played during Wrath, +STR and +Hit were the stat kings for plate DPS classes (I remember all the guides recommending +STR gems in every slot and +STR enchants on everything) and secondary stats were, well, secondary, and inflated secondaries on a weapon weren't that big a deal. But now that secondary stats have so much more importance, I suspect that an "outlier" weapon like that just wreaks havoc with modern calculations, so that all the addon sees is that this particular sword offers +15 more Haste and Crit than everything else that drops.
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).