I have been in Northrend for just over a week now and here is what I have to show for it.
1) 2.5 levels coming from about 50% questing and 50% instance running.
2) Lots of side upgrades where the blue is somewhat better, but still nothing that has made me go OMG!
3) A renewed fear of both spiders and heights.
3) A love of Walrus people.
So someone asked how is it leveling as resto in Northrend and I have to say, it is not as bad as one would think. One of the keys though, is gear; there is a need to balance spellpower, mp5 crit and haste. The leveling resto shaman will basically be rolling with an elemental rotations of CL/LB/LB/Repeat without the mana/casting time reduction or increased damage output available in the elemental tree. This is where the mp5 and haste is needed to help to keep the mana pool full and the lighting bolts flowing a little faster. As for the dps, the resto shaman needs to stack crit to help bolster the damage output.
Having rolled both elemental and resto I can say that I do not feel crippled leveling as resto. I find that things do die slower, but not by much…maybe by 1 or 2 more cast. The side benefit of leveling resto is that you are nearly invulnerable. I have died once during my quest time and that was just because I got cocky and took on a 72 elite when at half health and 25% mana. Between heals, totems and shields there is very little at level that you can’t down. I have been able to take down 4 or 5 mobs at once using fire totems, chain lighting and lighting shield. Moments like that just make me giggle.
Overall I am very happy that I stayed resto. I can still work my way through Northrend on my own and still be able to heal an isntance when needed (which is almost always lately).