I have people on my guild from all over this discussion. There's my never lose a battleground buddy who professes to have broken down and installed the queue joining add on everyone touts in trade chat as his only add-on, then there is my husband who installs about every new cool add--on he finds. I like to try and strike a balance, enough to enhance my game play without having to figure out how my add-ons work before a fight. What brings on this topic? My desktop slowed to a crawl and made my laptop more appealing for raiding. Playing on my laptop with only the bare essential add-ons kept me from posting auctions, having proximity meters and timers for boss fights, not to mention my pretty buttons were gone. Below, my must haves, and my favorites.
I use the advanced suite, because my husband said to, but I'm sure the regular package is all anyone really needs to make a buck on the auction house. I can't set a good price without it, unless I do a search on the auction house for every item in my inventory as I price them. Huge time saver!
This bar arranges all your consumables, mounts, pets, and class specific spells (emergency buttons included!) on bar(s)for ease of use. You can use the already made ones, or switch them up to your liking.
This makes my repair and bag unloading trips easier. When speaking with the repairman, it will automatically repair if money is available, and sell all grey items. For you that like to collect odd items like a Rogue's Diary, make sure you bank it before it gets sold.
What can I say about this? It makes my clicking area look better. Yes, I am a clicker, unless I am on my hunter or rogue, who have a single button to spam. (cue to point and laugh) It also allows you to put your bag bar and character functions bar and fade them, drag them anywhere on your screen, or just not use them at all.
This not necessarily one I need...but it moves the quest description area to the right, giving more room to view available quests and the quest description.
Do you like Google Maps? You'll love this.
This add-on shares what you find with others in your guild, and also grabs what they find and puts it on your map. Great for when you need to find a certain herb or mining node!
FPS, latency, xp to level, a "new" indicator if you have mail, and time in 24 hour format, all stuck at the top of your screen. YAY!
It shuffles, it stacks, it sorts, it's a plow! It will even organize your bank.
A threat meter. Have you been pulling off the tank and finding yourself in an iceblock, or worse yet, squishy stuff between the toes of the mob? Maybe you should check this out. This may not be necessary after WOTLK, but now, it's the difference between life and death.
OneBag and OneBank
This skins your bags into one big bag frame.
A navigation helper, complete with arrow for us dummies, pointing the right direction to your objective.
This is a great addon for those of us who have already done the first character or two. I don't recommend this for new players, who should be experiencing the lore. This comes preloaded with guides, level per level and zone to zone, to level up easier.
This is the meter to end all meters. You want healing? You got it! DPS? Here you go. Overheals? Yup. Total damage done? It's all there.
And, last but not least, I give you the best way to get all these add-ons...
It helps you download new add-ons and installs them for you, it updates existing add-ons, and has a launch button for when you are done. This, to me, makes add-ons that much less of a chore.
Now, back to your game!