If the end game feels miles away, and min-maxing is difficult because frankly, you're gonna take what you get and like it, then the focus of the game changes completely. Suddenly it's about the experience of leveling again, and hanging out with friends, and chatting with people in Goldshire (well, for purely innocent reasons anyway -- the Moon Guard server's Goldshire crew still does plenty of chatting).
Where to get materials and reagents you may ask? Buy for cheap off farmers in bulk or track Auction House lots. Get in touch with most big sellers. Communication is important here, send a whisper or write them a letter. It would be good for both of you to establish business relationships. Constant suppliers and buyers is convenient for both parties to save the time and effort.