While being busy all Saturday with restarting Heroes of Might and Magic 5 at higher difficulty, and finishing the first campaign that way, I played quite a lot of Lord of the Rings Online on Sunday. That advanced my guardian by two levels to level 21. And I managed to solo the crafting quest that is needed to advance beyond journeyman metalsmith, by killing some level 23-24 shades. Then I spent the rest of the day hunting for smithing components.
Metalsmithing is actually the best balanced craft in LotRO. Every producing craft has a quest to pass journeyman level, and each of these quests requires you to be in your low 20's. For metalsmithing that is fine, because once you do that you can make level 18 and 21 mastery armor, which is quite good. But this is because metalsmithing only starts at level 15, the lowest level where you can wear heavy armor for any class. For comparison tailoring starts at level 7, and the journeyman armors are level 10 and 16. So by the time you do the level 20ish quest to master journeyman, you won't need the armor you can tailor any more. So metalsmithing is much better, as you can smith mastery armor for yourself which is better than anything you can find.
The only difficulty in making this nice mastery armor is getting the rare ingredient. For level 18 heavy armor that is a Blackened Huorn Root from the elite evil treants in the Old Forest. For the level 21 heavy armor you need Dusky Lynx Claws from lynxes in the Lone Lands, east of Weathertop. The treants are easier to find, there are tons of them and few people hunt them, but them being elite, even at level 21 killing a level 14 elite treant isn't easy. I killed enough to get the "root-hewer" title, but then decided I'll come back one level later for the advanced deed and more of the roots. The lynxes are easy to kill, but hard to find, as they are far from each other and there are lots of other mobs in between. But in the end I got a nice mix of level 18 and 21 mastery armor. Probably better than just pure level 21 armor, because some of the stats weren't that useful for me. What do I want with gloves with a healing bonus? The level 18 gloves have 11 armor class less, but they give +11 to Might, which is a lot more useful for a guardian.
I enjoyed questing in the Lone Lands. There are tons of quests you can get from the Forsaken Inn, with lots of follow-ups still keeping me busy for a while. I guess that when I've finished those I'll move to North Downs. But I'm not in a hurry.