I like trades. There's just no getting around it. If I were starting a new character, I'd answer firstly what race and class I wanted to play. But shortly after that, I'd turn my eye to what the new guy's trade skills should be.
For me, at least, I turn an eye towards what I think this character's end-game goal will be. Do damage? Tank? Heal? Sometimes this all backfires on me, and I end up totally re-doing a trade from 1.
For instance, on my priest. I chose alchemy and herbalism. This priest was destined to be a healer (in fact at the time, I'm not sure Shadow was viable end-game) and I knew he'd need buffs from elixirs and lots of potions. Being able to transmute the arcanite for my blacksmith was also a bonus. Since I didn't have another source or herbs, I chose herbalism as his secondary. When Burning Crusade came out, I didn't change his trades. With further examination of the Primal Mooncloth pieces, I had no real choice but to respec him to tailoring (dropping herbs). But I've discussed all this before. I guess, in short, my step one is look at what BOP items can be made that match the perceived role for this guy.
Secondly, I look at racials. For the race I've chosen, is there something that is just too good to pass up (engineering for gnomes, for instance). That's how my gnome warlock wound up being an engineer.
Third, I look at what other skills or class abilities form a nice complement. Rogues always have vials around for poisons, so alchemy seems like a viable choice.
Now we get to secondaries. Is there any reason to not have cooking and first aid? I think not. You're going to pick up TONS of cloth on your level up process. More probably than you can use even if you're a tailor. Make bandages. Do it. You won't regret it. And there are several cooking quests (at least on alliance side) that fit in nicely with the normal grind up. And having a food buff is soooooooooo good.
I rarely level fishing. That skill is probably at most 75 on most of my characters. Only one guy has nudged it all the way up. And the memory of the pain of that grind is still so fresh, that I cannot convince myself to do otherwise.
So, here's where I'd probably put skills if I were making toons today:
- DRUID - Probably skinning, leatherworking. Make nice equipment end-game.
- HUNTER - Mining. Either Engineering (make your own ammo) or Blacksmithing (make your own armor)
- MAGE - Tailoring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
- PALADIN - Mining. Blacksmithing. Speciality for BS chosen based on role.
- PRIEST - Tailoring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
- ROGUE - Either Skinning/Leatherworking or Herbalism/Alchemy.
- SHAMAN - No honest clue. Currently my baby shaman is Mining/Skinning.
- WARLOCK - Taloring. Second choice could be any gathering skill or enchanting. I'd likely go enchanting.
- WARRIOR - Mining. Probably blacksmithing. The speciality for BS would be based on the end-game role.
Please remember, what I've listed are just the choices *I* would make. Please don't feel that these are the only viable choices. Trade skills really are all up to what you want to do.