Some impressions so far:
1. For a less populated shard (Pac), the spawn is just right. Don't need to look for mobs, and can find a challenge if you want one. Props to the Devs on that one.
2. Tried @Anon McDougle
provo mystic template. I forgot how to play a mystic and a bard, which did not help. But generally I found it to be a bit frustrating. Non-paragon mobs are not worth the provo, and paragons most of the time do not have a worthy opponent nearby to fight with.
3. Archers are not the best for this. Most mobs use spells extensively which makes staying out of melee range not that useful. Not much room to run around and best used with a tank.
4. Still have to try some kind of warrior with healing. Not sure if healing will be enough for the tougher paras, but should be better than a Samp.
5. Based on the resists, Cu's seem to be the best pets for this. Mine seems to be able to chew through anything so far, as long as he gets it one at a time.
6. The rewards are nice, and I am willing to tolerate the grind for them. Shard restrictions are ... sigh. I don't mind when they make the "collectibles" shard bound, even though I think they are shooting themselves in the foot, as usual. But many of these rewards are built to be an integral part of a higher end suit. So if someone wants to visit another shard to hunt, they should find local replacements for armor in question. And as usual for the BS school of economics - the effects are likely to be the opposite of what was intended. Restricting these high end items to shards will make them less accessible and more expensive on lower populated shards. Much cheaper for some money-bag to create a local monopoly and jack up the prices when players cannot access an alternate source (Atl) for the goods.