After nearly two weeks of waiting, I finally got a good evening (and morning) alone with a semi working beta account. After completing the level 3 bugged out quest, I was able to continue into the rest of the Pandarian starting zone. I fought a karate master and then was sent to protect some chick while meditating - waves of weak NPCs flowed at her while the other two NPCs just killed them while I sat there and waited until the appropriate number were killed.
I was then sent to kill some monkeys who some how set fire to a Panda mans house, before being sent to confront my first element - Fire. I should mention that the entire point of the Pandarian 1-12 story line is that the island of Pandaria is actually on the back of a giant turtle, who is in pain and such, so you have to confront the elements and stuff like that before talking to him.
While traveling to the fire element, I had a second to check out my new abilities - Roll (rolls forward), an ability that does 50% more damage when my enemy is above half health, and another ability that does more damage and puts a DoT on the enemy when they're below half health. After pointlessly being buffed to a few thousand health and a few thousand damage to fight to get to the fire elemental, I had to travel to the main town of Pandaria, the temple of the five elements or something like that.
I won't go over every quest in the zone, but I basically traveled from element to element, gaining knowledge and also fighting those monkey fuckers who for some reason are able to be a threat to giant pandas; as well as rat men who undermined Pandarian fields and worshiped a giant carrot.
The quests themselves were not very memorable, kill and gather quests with a few flavorful ones thrown in, but overall nothing new to WoW. However, the quests themselves did seem extremely childish: dealing with the monkeys you read some of their teachings, including "Mouth only hole for banana" and "Poo is good for throwing, bad for eating" etc. There were also a decent number of pop culture references, but not nearly as many as Cataclysm (at least so far), so that's good.
After gathering the elements, you fly on a hot air balloon and literally speak with the turtle and he tells you 'there is a thorn in my side in the forbidden forest' or something similar. After flying a little further you realize an alliance airship has crashed into the side of the turtle and he's bleeding. You land and enter the forest where you meet, for the first time in Pandarian history, members of the Horde and Alliance.
After some meaningless gather/kill quests, you are sent to actually inspect the wreckage, where you find the naga are being general dicks. After killing naga and rescuing Alliance soldiers and gathering supplies, the main panda dude decides to remove the airship, where the screen simply cuts to black, you hear an explosion, then it fades back in to the airship being gone but a river of blood flowing out of the cut where the ship once was.
At this point, I reached level ten and got to pick a spec - Brewmaster (tank), Windwalker (DPS) or Mistweaver (healer). I've always been partial to tanking and figured it'd be easy to get into dungeons as a tank, so I chose Brewmaster. I was given a tank stance ability and the ability to throw casks of brew at no cooldown in a semi large area to debuff enemies, giving them a 3% chance per stack to hit themselves on melee instead of me.
You then have to protect menders while they heal the wound from waves of Naga until it is fixed. You return to the temple where a giant window flashes on the center of your screen reading 'ALLIANCE OR HORDE?'. I picked Alliance because I'm not an angsty teenager. After clicking it Alliance, the screen faded to black with the text "Video clip of balloon ride to Stormwind". I hop out of the balloon at the city gates and walk into the same Stormwind as cataclysm, all fiery and burnt out with not a single statue fixed.
After walking to the palace, Varian walks around with me, tells me if I want to be an Alliance I have to abide by their laws, and then tells me to fight him. I do, and the Pandarian quest comes to an abrupt halt. No chain or anything from the king, so I head to Westfall, killing Hogger on the way, get a few quests in the zone and realize Two-Shoed Lou is bugged.
I ground and changed zones, then qued for the random dungeon finder. Though it felt good to be tanking in a dungeon again, playing with five other identical monks took a bit away from it.
I got to level 22 or so that night, then realized I could simply copy over a level 85 monk and try out the new content, so that is what I most likely will do.
As I expect a lot of people tl;dr'd this, here's a summary:
-Decent zone with art work, but nothing special quest wise
-Pandarian seem extremely gimmicky, almost like a joke with no real substance to them
-Monks are pretty fun to play
I'll probably make another post in a few days with a more generalized list of impressions instead of a "walk through" like I did here.