Not a rant. Please try for once to take this post as what it is: a honest question!
The story starts with the release of TBC. My priest gave up enchanting at that time to learn jewelcrafting. While leveling up jewelcrafting I produced a lot of rings and necklaces, and because many people did the same these crafted goods were impossible to sell on the auction house. So I created a blood elf mage, leveled him up to level 11, learned the enchanting profession, shipped all the jewelry to him, and started disenchanting.
Fast forward to 2008, the mage is now level 47. The priest started raiding and was using a lot of superior mana oil. Hey, I said to myself, no problem, oils are the one thing that my enchanter mage can make and ship to my other characters. For superior mana oil you need 310 skill, but due to a racial bonus the blood elf mage can get to 310 already at his current level. He was at 293 yesterday, and it turned out that getting to 310 is expensive. You need illusion dust and eternal essences, neither of which comes cheap. I managed to get part of the way with slightly cheaper wizard oil, but then spent like 200 gold in materials to get to 310. Learned the recipe of superior mana oil, and found out that I'd need a fel iron enchanting rod to produce the oil. For making that rod I'd need to get somebody to portal me to Outland and learn the recipe in Thrallmar. But even worse, I need the arcanite enchanting rod as well to make the fel iron rod. Together that is again more than 200 gold in cost.
So I didn't spend the money yet, I'm a bit low in funds right now, and first stopped to consider whether I really, really wanted to invest further into enchanting. My warrior is herbalist / alchemist, and my priest is miner / jewel crafter. Both of them can produce stuff that my other characters can use. My mage has tailoring, which I would like to keep to make things for himself and the priest, plus bags. But his enchanting profession isn't useful for my other characters, because they are on the same account and I can't have them logged on at the same time. I could pay to move him to my wife's account, but then I couldn't play the mage any more when my wife is playing her toons. The only useful thing as enchanter I can do is the mana and wizard oils, and those I could easily get for not much more than the cost of materials from the auction house.
One option, the cheapest, is to keep enchanting as it is now, at 310, and not invest in it any more. That would basically make my mage a disenchanter, not an enchanter. With 300 skill you can apparently disenchant all items in TBC, even epics. The advantage of having such a disenchanter is that usually the dusts and shards you get from disenchanting bind on pickup items sell for much more than vendoring those items. As many quests yield bop rewards you can't use, you'll at least squeeze a bit more of a monetary reward out of them. In groups it is good to have at least one disenchanter, for bop items found in dungeons that nobody can use. That isn't for personal profit, the shards are rolled for, but it's nice to have it available.
Another option is to ditch enchanting and take up something else. As I already have mining and herbalism on other toons, only skinning would make sense as a gathering profession. Could be profitable for selling the leather, especially as a mage who is good in mass killing animals. And some leather is used for tailoring, though not much. Or I take another crafting profession, but there only engineering would make sense. That is probably expensive to level up, and again not producing many useful things for other charactes. I loved having engineered bombs when I tried paladin once, but for a mage bombs aren't all that useful. There are some good goggles, and a lot of items that are just plain fun. Who wouldn't want to fly around in a helicopter?
The most expensive option is to level up enchanting to 375 and try to get as many good recipes as I can. I had a look through the TBC enchanting recipes, and it appears that very few are available from the trainer. Buying the more useful recipes from the auction house would cost thousands of gold. And then I'd still need to grind reputations and dungeons to get hold of the other recipes. I'm just not sure that this is worth it. I haven't seen any official Blizzard announcements where they state they are planning to change enchanting so that you could mail enchants to your alts or sell them on the AH. And standing in Shattrath or Orgrimmar for hours, peddling enchants in the trade chat instead of playing isn't really my idea of fun. Call me selfish, but why would I want to spent thousands of gold to get enchantments that only other people will profit from?
So I'm looking for advice, especially from people who leveled enchanting to 375. Do you feel the effort and gold spent was worth it? Or would you recommend just being a disenchanter? Or switching to engineering? Tell me what you think!