I've played every class and most all specs for each class. I think shadow priest, elemental shaman and boomkin are the only three class/spec combos I do not have anything more then a passing knowledge in.
While playing, my main has always been a hunter. I just really like the class, what can I say. There is a play mechanic that seems to click with me. Sure it has changed, for the worse in many cases, but it still feels comfortable more so then other class for me.
I play all my alts at one point or another. When boredom sets in I'll choose one or another just to do some stuff on for fun. This is partly the reason why my Rogue was my second 85. While I hate playing a rogue and I doubt I could ever find myself getting into it, it just happened to be the alt I was playing around with at the time Cataclysm came out. So I was in a grove with him and he got the nod to become the second 85 because of that. Not because I really wanted him to be.
Leveling from 80 to 85 takes roughly 12-18 hours even for a horrible leveler that knows nothing about leveling quickly. So it is not like I invested a ton of time on him. I've gotten the 80-85 grind down to 8-9 hours and that is with taking my time. Rested does help a ton too. I am sure I could do 5 hours if I pushed it on rested.
Either way, that means that when I level from 80-85 with one of my characters I usually do it in two or three sittings of game play. Maybe three hours three days and I am there.
When doing this I get a new taste for the character and it changes my view of them.
For the longest time I would say that my hunter was my main, my priest was my main healer and my druid was my main tank. I leveled my hunter as DPS, duh, of course, I leveled my priest as Disc, even if I did not do any dungeons, I quested to 85 as disc, and I leveled my Druid as a tank because that is what it is.
So my main DPS was always DPS, my main healer was always a healer and my main tank was always a tank.
Something happened along the way however. While I still love my disc priest and my bear they seemed to have gotten left behind.
I tanked a normal for some friends this weekend to help out so of course I bought my druid along being it might actually need something from a normal. Oddly enough a nice ring dropped and I needed it. Only a 308 ring but much better then the 245 ring I was wearing. Why was I even wearing a 245 ring at 85? How the hell did I make it to 85 while still wearing a 245 right might be a better question.
I like some of the changes that they made to my bear recently. I had a DK in my run that half way through the run said that he was sorry because he had been running in blood. I said, no problem, I never had any aggro issues the whole run so it does not really matter. So this is a change for me. Does it mean I will play my bear more now?
After doing the 80 to 85 leveling my main tank changed from my Bear to my Warrior being I was not comfortable with the feel of my bear any more. I also almost abandoned my Disc Priest. While I kept her geared I was extremely picky about who I healed with her because priest healing sucked big time those first weeks of Cataclysm. With that, my Shaman went into healing mode and became my main healer and to the point where I would even heal a random with her being she seems to easy to play.
So does that mean I move to the flavor of the month? I don't think so. From everything I read warriors are not the OP tank and Shaman, until recently, where so horribly behind as healers that none of the world first guilds even considered having a resto shaman in their groups.
I choose my alts by what I feel comfortable with. Not what feels OP. Any character can be OP in a sense if you take the effort to learn to play it well and do what you have to do to the best of your abilities.
So while it seems, for now at least, that my tank of choice is wearing plate and a shield instead of a layer of fur, it is not because the warrior is OP, it is because the warrior feels more comfortable for me right now.
As simple as it might sound I lost interest in bear tanking when swipe was given a cooldown. I know it is not really all that important over all. I never use swipe on a single target. Maybe it really is the little things that make a difference. Why was changing swipe to a 6 second (now back down to 3) cooldown enough to move me over to warrior tanking when thunderclap was already a 6 second cooldown itself if you are comparing the two.
I lost interest in my disc priest because it felt impossible to keep up in the early weeks of Cataclysm. I would only run with groups that knew how to avoid crap near 100% of the time. If ever I got caught needing to heal two people it would mean I went OOM and a wipe was soon to follow. I felt useless as a healer. So I found one I was more comfortable with and that was my Shaman. Over all the shamans healing was not as powerful as the priests and it had less instants to work with too but I had less of an issue keeping people up with it even in lesser gear. The mechanics of the character just felt more comfortable for me.
That is how I choose who is my current alt of choice for different things. What feels the most comfortable and not what is OP. I want to enjoy playing and I enjoy what I am comfortable doing. People also will also play better playing something that they are comfortable with. My priest might be a better healer on paper right now but I feel more comfortable on my shaman at the moment and as such I do better with it because of that.
I doubt another DPS class will ever take the place of my hunter because there are no other classes that play even remotely like it. Tanks tank, healers heal, melee melee and casters cast. Then there are hunters and they do whatever it is they do. Melee casting? There is nothing that could take the place of a hunter so I will never be leaving it for something else as there is nothing else that could ever compare. While I can switch tanks, switch healers, I can never switch melee casters because there are no other melee casters.
Sometimes you feel connected to a character and play that character more then others because of that connection. Sometimes you go to whatever the strongest is for that role at the moment. Sometimes you go with what you like and stick with it no matter what. Sometimes you roll with whatever you are having the most fun playing at the moment.
How do you choose your alts?
I choose them by which ones I feel comfortable with at the moment.