Remember the epic Onyxia attunement chain and how fun that was? Oh you didn't like looking for Rexxar? Let me show you something.
This is my Nostalgia Room. In here I only put Good Things.
*opens other door*
This is my Stupid Design Room. In here I only put Bad Things.
As you can see the idea of an epic chain to attune to Onyxia is in the room with Good Things, but wandering for an hour to find a patrolling NPC is in the room with Bad Things.
You see, not everything has to exist as the total package exactly as it is. For another example, I liked the idea of needing special water to douse runes in MC. But that doesn't mean that needing 8 or so people with water, or 8 trips to an inconvenient place, was a Good Thing. The ideal often does not exist, so we have to pick those pieces we like.
Another example is Drak'theron Keep. I like the Drakuru finale. I like how it has a different scene in each area. I like that it looks out into the world, making it seem as if it were not isolated. That doesn't mean I like that it is so short and has only a single path.
Or let's look at Lower Blackrock Spire. I think the layout is almost genius. The visual appearance is one of a place which has been constructed with many paths and nooks and possibilities. And in fact there are many ways to run through LBRS. But the true genius of it is that a single path does emerge to clear the entire instance in one sweep, with only a short backtrack in a couple spots. This doesn't mean I liked the terrible drop rate for the UBRS key gems or the frequent long strings of trash.
So when I say I miss something from vanilla, I don't mean to imply (though I often do anyway) that I miss every single aspect of vanilla.
I know I don't miss the way hybrids were mishandled. I don't miss single-class drops which were frequently wasted. I don't miss people not looting core hounds.
I liked the multi-class tokens we saw in AQ which were part of quests. The BC tier token system was less 'fun' and clearly had problems with trending in drops, but it felt more interesting than the badge+token system we now use for tier gear in ToC and ICC. If I had to create a system, it would use a generic "rare item of awesome" combined with quests and some sort of tradeable token (like the AQ scarabs), so that classes could have that bit of differentness without the problem of useless drops.
Yes, I am cherry-picking and picking and choosing and only taking the pieces I want. That's the point. That's a much better idea than picking every single aspect of each expansion as an indivisible whole.
*opens yet another door*
And over here are the things that I like and you don't and aren't objectively good or bad but instead are fun for one person or another.
P.S. Bring back sentry totem.