Many of you will remember the series of articles I wrote about maximizing Paladin DPS a few months ago. The point of that series was to discuss how to DPS efficiently no matter what your spec was, but the subject of gear was only briefly touched upon. While it is important to know what to do (and sometimes, what not to do) in a fight, the type of gear you're wearing will heavily dictate how effective you are. There's no replacement for experience, but the right gear will turn a good Paladin into a great one.
With that in mind, I'm creating a list of suggested gear for up and coming or newly 70 Retribution paladins, and where said gear can be obtained. I'm staying away from gear obtained by PvP because you really don't need a list for that, and raid / heroic gear is out because this list is for those of you who are just starting out. Individual pieces will be first categorized by slot, and then by the method obtained (crafted, quest, instance, etc), but I'm leaving it up to you to decide what you should get.
Furious Gizmatic Goggles - For all you engineers out there, make sure to pick these up. They've got hit rating, crit rating, lots of strength, and a meta gem slot.
Ragesteel Helm - What it lacks in stam it makes up for in tremendous crit rating. If you're going for the set, keep in mind you have to be a blacksmith to get the set bonus.
Overlord's Helmet of Second Sight - One of the rewards for a long quest chain in Shadowmoon Valley, this helm is well worth it. Hit rating, crit rating, strength, and 3 gem slots -- this helm has it all.
Ash-Covered Helm - Also from a quest in Shadowmoon Valley, this is a solid choice with some nice strength and crit bonuses.
Helm of Lupine Ferocity - You can pick this one up from an easy quest in Terokkar Forest, and will serve you well as you level.
Circle's Stalwart Helmet - An early quest reward from Zangarmarsh, and likely to be the first helm you'll get that has gem slots.
Necklace of Trophies - It's more likely you'll find this on the AH than as a drop, but it's a solid choice, aside from the fact that it's lacking stamina.
Haramad's Bargain - It does require you to be exalted with the Consortium, but this necklace gives you a good amount of strength and agility.
Natasha's Choker - Though it's a reward from a long chain in Blade's Edge, this necklace is worth the trouble. As a Paladin, you should be able to solo the entire chain (there's really only one difficult part anyway).
Ragesteel Shoulders - A bit lacking in the stamina department, but lots of strength, hit, crit, and the flexibility of gems more than make up for it.
Jade Warrior Pauldrons - You can obtain these very early on, as it'll only take one Ramparts run to complete the quest objectives. A good solid choice, but there's better shoulders later on.
Warchief's Mantle - These do lack hit and crit rating, but that can partially be made up for with the gem slots. They do have a nice amount of strength and stamina, as well as a bonus to your parry rating (and hey, taking less damage is nice when leveling).
Sylvanaar Champion's Shoulders - Another quest reward from Blade's Edge. These shoulders were actually nerfed a few patches ago, but they're still pretty good.
Cloak of the Inciter - Drops off Blackheart the Inciter, the second boss of Shadow Labyrinth, and has bonuses to all your desired stats. This is my favorite choice.
Capacitus' Cloak of Calibration - Randomly found in the Cache of the Legion in Mechanar, this cloak will enhance your strength, agility and stamina.
Shroud of Frenzy - You'll likely find this at your local Auction House already, and is quite decent for a level 62 item. Lacks stam, but has good strength and crit rating.
Vengeance Wrap - Takes a good amount of mats, and you'll have to find someone with a Primal Nether to craft it for you, but this is a great choice.
Nomad's Woven Cloak - From a quest chain in Nagrand, this is a nice cloak, enhancing all of your desired stats. However, there are better choices later on.
Warmaul Defender's Cloak - Also from Nagrand, this cloak provides bonuses to strength, stamina, and crit.
Durotan's Battle Harness - An excellent drop from Captain Skarloc in the Old Hillsbrad instance, this chest comes with strength, stamina, crit, and 3 gem slots.
Chestguard of Exile - Expect to pay a lot for this one in your Auction House, but if you can afford it, it's one of the best chests around.
Ragesteel Breastplate - As with the rest of the Ragesteel pieces, it's lacking in stamina but provides a large amount of strength and crit rating.
Battlemaster's Breastplate - Available early on in Hellfire Peninsula, you'll likely use this for awhile. Don't skip it!
Chestplate of A'dal - Part of a long quest chain in Netherstorm, but definitely worth it, as this carries nice bonuses to strength, hit, crit, and stamina.
Blackened Chestplate - From a quest chain in Blade's Edge comes this solid chest. You'll need help for at least part of the chain though, so bring some friends.
Black Felsteel Bracers - You'll need to find someone with a Primal Nether to craft it for you, but gathering the other mats for these bracers should be quite easy. And that's good news, since these are an excellent choice.
Sentinel Armbands - Available as a reward from a very easy quest early on in Blade's Edge, these bracers buff your strength and crit.
Demolisher's Bracers - One of the better green items around, these bracers from Netherstorm buff your strength, stamina, crit and hit.
That does it for the first half of the Retribution list -- two weeks from now I'll cover the rest, but this should get you started! Next time I'll also talk about weapon selection, which is arguably the single most important piece of gear to a Ret Paladin, so stay tuned!