Meh. What can I say? Dailies, man. Dailies. There's reputation to be earned!
Cooking: Amazingly easy to level just as part of the "on my way to 85" experience. The cooking daily is wonderful, fun, and easy, and I'll be doing them for the next 3 months in order to get all the recipes on Aeth. After that? Not so much, unless Blizzard adds new recipes or items you can purchase with the cooking awards.
Fishing: More painful to level, but (obviously) not impossible. The extra skill up from the fishing daily was awesome - do a daily, avoid 5 minutes of fishing? Definitely worth it. Now that I've hit 525 fishing, though, I doubt I'll bother to do the fishing daily at all, unless I find myself needing to squeeze out a little extra guild rep.
Archaeology: Haven't really worked on this yet. There's too much other stuff to do! It looks like it will be a time sink, though, primarily from all the traveling that it will involve. Being a mage should be a slight help there, though.
Mining: Barely even noticed that I was leveling. Just by hitting available mining nodes in the new zones, I was able to hit 525 mining on Aeth about halfway through Uldum. Which I did before Deepholm, by the way... yes, Aeth went from Hyjal to Vash'jir to Uldum to Twilight Highlands, then back to cover Deepholm. She's weird that way. In any case, mining - and, I expect, herbing and skinning - falls into the "Wow, I leveled that already?" category.
Jewlcrafting: Ah, here the pain begins. Dailies to earn JC tokens? Check. Dailies that require you to consume 150-200G worth of gems to turn them in? Ouch. Recipes that seemingly stop giving skill-ups as soon as they turn yellow? Ah-yep. So, really, this is the Wrath version of Jewlcrafting, but taken to the next level. Expensive, annoying, and under-appreciated.
Enchanting: About as painful as jewlcrafting, though the flood of crafted 81-83 items on the AH listed for cheap has made it a bit easier. Well, it would have made it easier if I was foolish enough to buy and DE items to level enchanting. Instead, for the last 4 weeks, I've been buying cheap (under 30g) level 81+ greens off of the AH, disenchanting them, and then turning around to resell the resulting dusts and essences for a 3x-4x profit. I've managed to make about 20k gold in a couple of weeks, just doing this once a day or so.
Now that the prices of dusts and essences has dropped, I've started using some of my mats to level enchanting on Laenshield, and it's going about as well as you would expect - slow, but not painfully slow. I've created a mess of scrolls that sell for far less than their materials cost, so instead of dumping them on the AH, I'm stockpiling them for use on other characters. Laenshield is still at 80, too - so once I start leveling, he should end up with a nice cache of materials from DE'ing quest rewards that he can use to finish leveling his profession.
One annoying thing about enchanting is that the high-level recipes require (a) unlocking the vendor in the Twilight Highlands, and (b) heavenly shards. Yeah, thanks. I thought 200G every other day or so for the JC dailies was bad. I'm afraid to see what the price of heavenly shards will be. Looks like Laen will either have to become a dungeon-running DE junkie, or shell out gobs of cash to buy shards of the AH, if he wants to learn any of the high-level enchants.
Tailoring: Let's see. You can learn new tailoring patterns directly from the tailoring trainer? Yay! No dailies to run! You find the materials as you quest, right? Awesome! How hard could this be? Really?
Hard enough to make you want to drive sewing needles directly into your brain.
One of the things I did with Aeth was gather and stockpile embersilk cloth for Laen, so it would be easier to level tailoring later on. The problem here is that the drop rate on cloth for non-tailors is painfully low. So low that, after leveling through every new zone, and doing every quest, and running dailies for 2 weeks, Aeth barely had enough cloth to allow Laen to get to 480 tailoring skill.
You heard me right. Four. Eight. Oh. 480.
No, wait, that's not true. I had to shell out a couple of hundred gold on the AH to buy the extra cloth I needed to get him that far. Leveling tailoring to 525 is going to be... slow, I think. Vera, vera slow.
On the plus side, once I start leveling Laen, he'll be pulling in additional cloth. Still, will he manage to get the... holy cow, 1700+ pieces of embersilk cloth to level tailoring to 525? That's insane! That's about 9000G worth of cloth!
Yeah. I'm thinking that maybe leveling tailoring can wait a bit.
Edit: Right after posting this, I notice that Larisa slips a little cloth-gathering suggestion into her latest post. Tresure-finding potion and AoE farming? Yes, please! I plan on starting to level Laen soon, so once he hits 85, I'll definitely be giving this a try.