Drustvar is far and away the hardest Alliance zone, which is exactly why you want to do it first. If you have legendary items, they’ll still be usable, and if you don’t, this zone will still be easier early on than it will be later. Drustvar is also extremely fast and will let you jump out ahead of your competition in other zones, which means fewer players around to take your quest objectives.
-Bugs- There aren't too many glaring bugs anymore, but you will certainly encounter some. The pathetic thing is that many of the bugs you'll encounter were reported repeatedly during Alpha/Beta and still weren't fixed. Some bugs were discovered after release and players were able to abuse game mechanics without repercussion unless they were one of the more serious offenders. This gave some players a significant advantage over others because they used exploits and at the start of an expansion, that is the time when it's most impactful.
The zone you start in isn't under your control, in as much as it's pre-selected for you based on your race. But for leveling purposes we want to make scaling work for us as much as possible. That means sticking to the lower level zones. Even though scaling will increase the level of the quests and mobs in those zones, the layout and design of them is built for a player with no mount. So you'll blaze through them and gain more exp/hour than higher level zones which assume you DO have a mount.
5% was admittedly an exaggeration, just felt that low. I'd say it was probably closer to the 30-40% range. It was Artifacts of the Blacksilt, spent a good 10-15 minutes killing Blacksilt Seers to get two damn idols to drop. A quest that had me killing Elder Brown Bears for bear flanks also took quite a while, though that was less due to drop rate and more due to how spread out they were.
Special mention is the Darkmoon Faire Top Hat and WHEE! buff. While not always available due to the DMF being inaccessible most of the month, if you happen to be leveling when the DMF is running, it might be worth your time to go and get these. AFAIK they do stack with heirlooms, although I have not personally tested it. Fair warning: These buffs do NOT stack with each other, and the hats disappear after the DMF goes away later in the month(unless you only log in when the faire is running).