I don't know if I've treaded this topic before, but I know it is one I think about a lot. Once I came into the game at the end of The Burning Crusade, I just picked Tailoring and Skinning on my main, a priest, because that seemed like what a priest would do to get by. As time went on, I decided that my group of friends did not have a dedicated enchanter, so I leveled that up as I went along despite the expense of not having a true gathering profession.
After getting Ekaterinae to endgame, it was time to select what I wanted to do with alt characters. As you will likely remember if you've been following this blog, I fell in love with healing and tanking to a lesser extent, but not DPS unless I needed a break. So I decided to level a healer team, two healers on each side of the aisle and one DK on alliance-side just because. With the classes selected, the only other real consideration outside of which classes to play one each side was how to best set up a team of professions to garner the most profit for the team expenses and also take care of my character needs. Here's my setup:
Ekaterinae has Tailoring and Enchanting
Navarionae has Jewelcrafting and Mining
Arielae has Alchemy and Herbalism
I feel like the things I spend the most repeated money on for my raiding character Ekaterinae is flasks, gems, and enchants (as well as gear when necessary). As you can see, each of my characters plays a vital role in giving me one of those things, although my Alchemist is still leveling up so I still buy flasks. However, everything is set up to benefit the priest in the best way possible, while also providing side benefits for making money with JC and Tailoring bags mostly. I may also dabble in the flask market eventually. Oh and Ekaterinae also is a maxed out fisher and cook, meaning she makes fish feasts all the time. So I think this mix of professions is good enough for me.
Of the things I'm lacking, none of them seem all that important, although I do not think these professions are bad. they just do not help me reach my own goals. Engineering is fun and I tried it for a while, but it has no great endgame benefits. Blacksmithing and Leatherworking are helpful if you have characters that raid a lot in those armor proficiencies, but Ekaterinae remains my only raiding toon for a reason. Hence, Tailoring is it for me. Plus, making bags for profit is much better for me than armor kits or weapons. Inscription is nifty, but you do not need to switch glyphs that often and I see it as another tax like the 50g whenever you respec, which I do occasionally to have Shadow in the mix. And Skinning is just a placeholder unless you have no better ways to make extra cash and if yo have a leatherworker.
Now the key question is what to do to set up the same success or Horde-side. Right now my shaman is alliance just to make it easier to handle the costs, and she will transfer any extra money my paladin may need to finish things off when she goes Horde-side in Cataclysm. However, I'm struggling with what professions to focus on. I'm definitely going to be a paladin main over there, so I think maybe a mix of Blacksmithing, JC, Enchanting, and Mining (because having the two professions that require mining without mining is silly). So I think I will level Mining/JC on Biancae and Mining/Blacksmithing on Clarissae. Unless there's some reason to have blacksmithing on the person wearing the gear (BoP? I need some recipe guides). Then at endgame I will swap to enchanting on Biancae, giving me the ultimate JC/Enchanting bonuses. I will lack the ability to make money off bags and will have to buy flasks, but it's a small matter as I've lived that way Alliance-side for so long. And to be honest, my Horde-side followings will likely never be more important to me than my Alliance-side travels.
Anybody have thoughts on this? Perhaps you have an elite set of professions to support your raiding or top PvP characters, and maybe you just do what's fun. But I like having a synergetic team, and I think this is my decision. Hence, I've not only crafted a healer team but a profession team.