So, yeah. Logged in, checked the AH, played for two hours and... Aeven's now level 42, and still hasn't even started packing her bags to head to Desolace. What happened?
The Badlands. Specifically, Lowtil Variatus.
Before heading to Desolace, I figured I should clear out my quest log. So, a quick trip to the Badlands, a run through the non-instance part of Uldaman, killing a few rock elementals, and so on really let me rack up the XP. The quest chains branching off from that that insane little gnome Lowtill are pretty good, too - with a little bit of preparation and a trip to the AH, I was able to bang out about 8-9 quests in the space of a minute or so. Add in killing an ambassador of Ragnaros, and that XP added up fast.
And here I was thinking that going from level 40 to level 45 would be a grindfest. I guess that this proves that Coolant Heads Prevail.
As a side note: no, I am not using any leveling guides or the like. I do use LightHeaded to help figure out more difficult quests, which is how I knew what to buy for the Coolant Heads quest chain - a nice helpful comment on wowhead detailed the items I'd need to have available to complete things quickly. Other than things like that, I'm just wandering from quest hub to quest hub, killing anything in my way and picking up whatever quest suits my fancy.
While poor little Aeven was running to and fro to complete all these quests, she picked up a Falchion when I was in Ironforge. Still haven't gotten it enchanted yet, but when I do, it will be her go-to weapon for quite a while. A Morning Star or Francisca would give slightly higher dps, but then she'd have to spend the time leveling 1H mace or 1H axe skill. It will have to last me until level 60, when she'll be able to switch over to an Ancient Bone Mace.