Do you care where your character is? Does it make any difference? These days, probably not. Just pick your main city and take the portals where they go.What I didn't realize is that I'd contradicted myself.
Location still matters. So do talents, stat choices, and enchants. But we don't make many choices anymore.
I mistakenly thought that WoW was losing a sense of location. Quite the opposite. Location had become more important, and optimized. Just as theorycrafters have found the best stats, the best talents, and the best enchants, so have we also found the best location: capitol cities.
Being 'out in the field' just isn't a very good choice anymore and we know this. Unless you're gathering from resource nodes, you're probably wasting time outside the cities. Just as if you're running a PvP spec outside of PvP, you're probably wasting time.
What has happened is that the devs have followed the players. We seek efficiency. This isn't a bad thing. What can be bad is if the devs follow us. We go to a city and they follow us there, placing portals everywhere, teleports, and making outdoor farming obsolete. And so we never leave because we have found efficiency and it has become the only efficiency.
One might hope that hearth location could be a last bit of player choice, but no.
P.S. The dungeon post is coming soon*. It got a bit sidetracked so I spun off Monday's post. Then it got sidetracked again with recent uh... outpourings of elitism over video games.
* For a given definition of soon.