So here's the deal with my thoughts on leveling my hunter. I don't enjoy leveling as BM and with the misdirection change I have no worries that my pets will have aggro issues. The healing component of Chimera Shot is just too nice for solo play to pass up. I changed my MM spec from a raid focus to a solo focus. The combo of Rapid Killing and Recuperation talents means less need to use Steady Shot for focus generation in a fast shooting environment. They should also give me the freedom to chain pull and attempt bigger pulls.
My rotation will also be different of course. So far I just use instant shots and send my pet in. Hell I don't even wait for the pet to get aggro all that often. Things die before they get to me so all is good. As the mobs get harder I will have to be a bit less lazy but that's why Blizzard invented Misdirection!
For pets I've broken out my cat again. I missed Maethor, he and I have leveled together since I tamed him way back when I was level 23 or 24. I never used another pet till I hit WOTLK and wolves became king.
Its comforting having him around. Hunters are so very odd about pets aren't we? I am bringing the turtle as backup for harder mobs and bigger pulls.
I started out leveling in Vashj'ir. The 3D aspect of the underwater zone took a bit of time to get used to but all those free, dead beasts lying around means I'm skinning capped! Booyah! I will probably stay down there and level since I'm enjoying the storyline and I have a pretty sea horse.
I'm not so worried about the gear. So far nothing's really been much of an upgrade and if this is anything like the xpacs of old my stuff should carry me easily to level 83 without any worry.
I have to say that I like leveling this version of the hunter more than my previous mana using incarnations. Its much more what I hopped the class would be like when the game first started. A lone hunter traveling Azeroth with her beloved companion taking down foes and ridding the world of evil and and stuff.