I started the experiment with the mage, Alexya (and consequently, if anyone is on Area 52 horde, don't hesitate to send me a message in-game, I'd love to have your input). Having not played a mage in a long time, it took a little bit for me to get fully adjusted to it, but soon enough I was blowing my way through mobs with vengeful fireballs.
My experience was fairly easy from lvls 1-6, which is good. The quests were easy, and while I got a little lost once, that's just because I didn't bother to look at the top part of the quest description, where it told me exactly where to go. I reached lvl 6 (6.5 actually after turning in quests) in about an hour of played time. This is an hour without any profession training stops or any side trips. A final picture of my status at lvl 6.5 is below. I'll be posting my experiences with my paladin next, along with some analysis of the differences between the two playing experiences and end results.