This Breakfast Topic comes largely in response to this very insightful article about how rotations have changed over the ages. While reading it, I began to think about how I will pore over theorycrafting sites to find the optimal DPS rotation, healing build, or tanking strategy. But I only do this for my max-level characters. While I'm leveling, it's pretty much happy-go-lucky. I'll occasionally look up what spec might be best for leveling, but sometimes I don't care about optimal leveling. I just want to have fun and mess around with the character and how to play it.
For example, everyone always said that combat is the best leveling spec for a rogue. I however, loved assassination, so that's what I stuck with. I tried out combat, but I hated it. No stealth? Swords or maces, not daggers? That's not a rogue, that's a weak warrior! Same with my warlock; affliction is supposed to be best, but to me, warlocks are all about demon summoning, so I went with demonology. It just made sense.
Of course, when I hit the level cap and start doing raids, that's when I'll delve into what are the optimal rotations, enchants, gems, itemization, etc. That stuff matters at that point. But leveling for me is all about having fun and learning your class. Leveling is a long and tough process; it doesn't make any sense not to enjoy it as much as you can.
How do you like to level? Do you play it fast and loose with your talents, or do you carefully consider where each precious point goes?