Awesome write up Luckyposeidon, and a real joy to read - thank you.
There are so many neat ways to level up - I've only tried a few of the suggestions others have made, but just in case anyone is interested in reading, I'd like to add my own skill up path.
Tutorial - So many excellent things can be had here that there is no good reason to skip this unless you like the idea of playing a hardcore character who's leveling up the hard way.
Level 12 to 22 -
South Ro - Caiman quest for level 12 to 22. This quest is a must if you have faction problems due to your race/class/deity. Huge faction bonus (I believe 25 every time you finish it) and in the low teens, you'll ding nearly every time you finish the quest too. In the teens, you'll also get great exp. of the crocs and caimans. Watch out for Lockjaw.
A good alternative for this level range is Crescent Reach, primarily for the excellent quests. Don't forget that there are higher level undead on the third floor that are fun to fight.
The Warrens, on the continent of Odus, are absolutely necessary if you are EVIL, and need/want to have faction for Erudin and / or Paineel. Be sure to check out the Kobold Molar quest too, as you'll likely need to do it to get faction for these towns.
Level 23 to 33 -
Timorous Deep - Attack the pirate skeletons on the main island if you are in need of cash. Downside; it can be a pain to get to. The southern islands on the map (Yeti island) are especially remote. But, there are high mobs in the zone you can come back to level on well into your 50's.
Blightfire Moors - the wealth of level ranges, variety, accessibility, and great quests make this zone a can't-miss.
Level 34 to 54 -
Burning Woods - Lots of mobs running around, huge zone, decent visibility, is currently a hotzone, but mobs start turning light blue around mid forties.
City of Mist. Great level range, interesting terrain and layout, great loot drops. It really helps put Kunark on the map, even after all these years.
Goru'kar Mesa. Another Serpent's Spine zone that knocked it out of the ballpark. Like with Timorous Deep, you could make this zone your home until the mid 50's and still get great experience. A few nice augs drop in this zone.
Level 55 to 70 -
Blackfeather Roost. Many of my toons used to or are leveling up here. Great visibility and fun quests combined with good variety of mobs + level range = you'll be spending lots of time here. Don't forget to collect some of the nice augs that drop here. One of the reasons this zone is so popular is that the mobs on the first level are extremely easy to kill rfor their level, which leads to a rapid experience or AA point gain. If you're like me, you'll sometimes find yourself slinking back in here after level 70 for some easy AA's.
Hatchery Wing - You get into this instanced zone by talking to Destra Kinmare next to the big bank in the PoK. At this level range, my toons get great exp., but you'll still low enough that the mobs don't hit all that hard, making it possible to solo here with only a merc for help. That changes by the mid 60's. Btw, you can choose to take this mission at lower or higher levels.
Level 71 - 80
And here your newbie status comes to an end. You can almost feel the gloves coming off, as from here on out things can get really rough. However, if you look at the level ranges for zones in the 'zones' section, you will see an absolute proliferation of zones. This is because once upon a time, these 75-ish zones were considered top-end. Now, they are just really interesting content...and the numbers of these zones are astounding. So what will it be? Take your pick - Arcstone, Stoneroot Falls, Wall of Slaughter, Katta Castrum...there must be close to 100 zones (or more?) that cater to players in the 75-80 level range. There are simply too many to list here, but here are some honorable mentions:
Forgotten Halls. Haven't heard of it? No prob - neither has anyone else. If you solo often, killing the rats in this instanced zone off of Nedaria's Landing will yield you some great AA's, primarily because these mobs are by far the easiest things you'll be killing at this point, which leads to large numbers of kills in a short time. Be sure to have your merc suspended when you talk to the high elf (Eldros Danmor) on the docks (far end) to get this mission. If you find yourself unable to get a group *and* you're awful at soloing, give this zone a try.
The Steppes. Decent loot drops, large variety of mobs, and favorable terrain. Some useful quests can be had here. But the best thing is that it is no big deal to single-pull most of the mobs, if you are careful. We can't all be enchanters. Visibility is fair to good. Lots of flat, open ground with little vegetation.
Edited, Mar 5th 2014 4:40am by zirumkin
If you can't do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.
My Rathe / Prexus characters:
Gahalatine Righteousblade, 57 Human Paladin
Bigbronze Bloodyaxe, 60 Ogre Berserker
Verbeeg Bearfang, 62 Ogre Beastlord
Glabrezu Spiritcaller, 62 Ogre Shaman
Zirumkin Zenomorph, 62 Gnome Wizard
Korgulon Soulwraith, 75 Ogre Shadowknight <Shining Alliance>
Incarnadine Summoner, 61 Drakkin Magician
My Zek characters:
Zalkahriz Ebonscale, 64 Iksar Necromancer
Gnomore Gniceguy, 51 Gnome Rogue