First up we have patch 7.3.5, which was implemented several months ago as a major shakeup to how leveling was approached. Instead of going from low to high level zones like the way the game had always operated, Blizzard opened up the map with more of a Guild Wars 2 type system -- you now have more of a choice of where to go with a scaling mechanic. But when combined with 8.0's massive stat overhaul, things got murky.
The community was apparently frustrated with Blizzard for a lack of communication concerning the issue, but it looks like that was due to the fact that their heads were down as they worked to understand the problem. It was explained that they didn't want to just roll out a quick bandage, as that would likely cause unforeseen issues down the road. Instead, they're crunching the numbers and digging into the code in the hopes of discovering a legitimate source of the problem.
This so much. I hate that this happens because I love Prot so much. I can pull so much stuff and not die, which comes in handy when you don't have Legion Loremaster (I re-joined recently, been trying to get it done but y'all know it's not quick). Basically that's the only reason I keep my guy in Prot. I only go Ret when there is a significantly better tank in the group or in PvP.
Anyway both got to 110 at around 50h played. I messed up with my Pal by going to Legion once I hit 100 instead of finishing treasures and bonuses in WoD. All in all, if I picked the best zones and was only trying to level as fast as I could, I would probably could have done it in roughly 40h. Note that it would have a been A LOT faster with a Monk as both Ret and Rogues don't really have a decent AoE until 40+ (45 for Ret and 63 for Rogue I believe). The daily also helps a lot. I know that leveling my Monk before the pre-patch was insanely fast. Might be slower with the changes to FoF, however.
On top of that, after several expansions of making trade goods more plentiful, Blizzard is making components for common consumables scarce again in Battle for Azeroth. The new flasks require a rare herb called Anchor Weed, which spawns randomly in place of other herbs, so it’s not plentiful anywhere and is difficult to farm in quantity. It’s much more precious than any commodity that herbalists have seen in several expansions.
Recently, Blizzard provided their own WoW Token system for players to buy and sell World of Warcraft Gold. However, the constantly fluctuating supply and demand means that prices will vary. Consequently, getting the best prices isn't guaranteed, nor do you know when you'll make a sale. You also can't trade or resell any tokens you buy, as they become instantly "Soulbound".
For future reference, it is a great option to purchase mounts and pets as a long-term investment. Not only do their prices scale well even when a new expansion drops, but there is always a demand for them. The only drawback to this strategy is you would need a hefty amount of initial wow gold investment and also maybe have to go through the motions of spending for a guild bank.
A: We chose to go with the subscription-based model instead of that approach. We've taken the approach that we want players to feel like it's a level playing field once they're in WoW. Outside resources don't play into it -- no gold buying, etc. We take a hard line stance against it. What you get out of microtransactions is kind of the same thing and I think our player base would feel betrayed by it. I think that's something else you have to decide on up-front instead of implementing later.