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Addons

Recommended

These take little-to-no setup: a) install all 8, b) Vend-o-matic's setup will pop up when you log in, c) size and position Skada, MBF, and AdiBags however you like -- and you're done!

AdiBags Displays the content of your bags in one view, automagically split into sections using smart filters. Alternatives: ArkInventory, Tbag-Shefki.
Vend-o-matic Autorepair, autosell grays (vendor trash), and autorestock (e.g. Tome of the Clear Mind).
GTFO Yells at you when you're "standing in fire".
OmniCC Adds digital counters to your cooldown buttons.
Skada Damage, heal, and threat meters. Alternative: Recount + Omen Threat Meter.
Postal Enhanced mailbox support (e.g. open all your mail with a single button press).
Minimap Button Frame Moves all your minimap addon buttons to a single movable frame, that you show/hide with one button. Out-of-date but still works great.
Deadly Boss Mods Boss mods for all raid bosses, and more. This is the core module, all you need for current PvE content. Add these if needed:

These take at least a little effort to set up, but once done you'll be glad you did. You might want to install them one at a time, and ask for some help getting them set up.

Tidy Plates + Threat Plates Customize enemy name plates based on threat level. Especially good for tanks, and good for dps/heals too. Go here for setup video.
Gnosis Cast Bar replacement and customization. Alternative: Quartz.
WeakAuras Display custom graphics to indicate buffs, debuffs, and more. Similar to, but better than: Power Auras Classic, TellMeWhen, NeedToKnow.
VuhDo Unit Frame replacement and customization (party, raid, etc.). Especially useful for healers and mouseover/click-casting. Alternatives: Grid + Clique, HealBot Continued, Decursive.

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Class

Death Knight
Druid BadKitty Feral: Kitty GCD manager.
ForteXorcist Balance: DoT tracker, excellent for DoT classes.
Hunter Pet Selector Helps select the best pet for your current raid group.
Mage
Monk
Paladin PallyPower Paladin blessings and buffs.
Priest HaloPro Helps you find best position to cast Halo, Cascade, and Divine Star (L90 talent).
ForteXorcist Shadow: DoT tracker, excellent for DoT classes.
Rogue
Shaman
Warlock ForteXorcist DoT tracker, excellent for DoT classes.
Warrior

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Pet Battle

If you're doing any pet battling at all, save yourself a lot of time and just install all of these - you'll be glad you did!

Auto Safari Hat Automatically equips your Safari Hat and/or Guild Tabard when fighting wild pets or battling Pet Tamers. Additionally, it automatically accepts quests, starts battles, and completes quests when you right-click on a Pet Tamer.
Battle Pet BreedID Display pet's breed during battle, in your pet journal, and in tooltips.
Battle Pet - Quality Notifier + LibPetJournal-2.0 Displays whether or not the wild pets you're battling are upgrades, in your chat window. (The addon is out-of-date, but if you install the current LibPetJournal separately then all is well again.)
PetBattleMaster See the details of your and your opponent's pets in a tabbed view. You get a notification if the enemy pet is missing in your collection or if it has a higher quality than your existing one. Also, Team view with quick selector and portraits of your mighty teams, and Team manager docked to the pet journal showing all pets of all your teams.
PetJournal Enhanced Colors pet names in your journal by rarity, and adds very useful filters.
PetTracker Many features that help for pet tracking and battling - must have.

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General

Addon Control Panel Load/unload addons without having to log out.
Arbitrary Commands Create and save a library of custom Lua scripts and slash commands.
Archy Archaeology assistant.
Auctioneer The tools and data necessary to make those difficult auctioning decisions with ease.
AskMrRobot Gathers your data for upload to Ask Mr. Robot, for use with their "Best in Bags" feature.
GatherMate2 + GatherMate2_Data Collects and tracks herbs, mines, fishing pools, gas clouds, archaelogy finds and treasures, and displays them on the world map and the mini map. Alternative: Gatherer.
MogIt In-game catalogue of transmogrification items. Build and save your own sets. Also shows where to get the items you need.
NPCScan + NPCScan.Overlay Alerts you when you're near a rare mob. (Read the curse page for how to clear your creature cache.)
Ovale Spell Priority + Nerien's Ovale Scripts Shows you what spell or ability you should use in order to maximize your damage. Nerien's: A collection of Ovale scripts contributed by other users.
RaidAchievement Reports when group or raid achievement that you can't track is failed, or when all criteria of the achievement are fullfiled and you need to kill boss.
SanityCheck Reminds you of all the things which you already know you need to do, they're so obvious, but somehow they just slip your mind every now and then. No more wearing Holy gear after changing spec to Protection, no more raiding with a fishing rod, and no more forgetting to put poison on your daggers before an important boss fight! Alternative: IdiotCheck.
SavedInstances Keeps track of the instance/raid lockouts saved against your characters, and related currencies and cooldowns.
TomTom In-game GPS.

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PvP

AutoRelease Ever miss the BG respawn by only a couple seconds? This addon automatically releases your spirit when you die in a battleground.
BattlegroundTargets Shows all battleground enemies. Simple 'Enemy Unit Frame' for battlegrounds.
Gladius v3 Arena enemy unit frames for easier targeting and focusing. Highly configurable (can disable most features).
Healers Have To Die Adds a red cross over enemy healer's name plates.

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Raid

For raid leaders, loot masters, and tanks.

FlaresThatWork World raid flares, via buttons and/or keybindings.
PhoenixStyle Tons of stuff for raid leaders, such as: persistent marks on tanks, announce fails, and easy break timers.
RaidBuffStatus Check, show and report on the complete buff status (including flasks etc) of a party or raid. Alternative: BigBrother.
Simple Raid Target Icons Quickly mark raid targets. (I turn everything off and just use the mouseover keybinds that this addon provides, but you might prefer their slick radial menu.)
XLoot Greatly speeds up loot distribution. Master looter can request Need/Greed rolls for boss drops, but using Blizz's in-game boxes. Raiders click Need/Greed, instead of having to do /roll for Main Spec and /roll again for Off Spec.

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UI Customization

Also see the addons listed in Recommended.

Bartender4 Action Bar replacement and customization. Alternative: Dominos.
CustomPlayerPowerBarAlt Customize the Player Alt Power Bar.
Elkano's Buff Bars Buff/Debuff custom displays for any unit frame. Alternatives: Raven, Aura Frames.
PitBull Unit Frame replacement and customization (player, target, focus, pet, etc.). Alternatives: X-Perl UnitFrames, IceHUD, Shadowed Unit Frames.
Prat 3.0 Chat replacement and customization. Allows copy/paste from chat. Alternative: Chatter.
SexyMap Minimap customization.
eAlign UI alignment grid.
kgPanels Create panels for customizing your UI.
Sunn - Viewport Art Change the size of the rendered world area (viewport) and adds textured artwork in the non-rendered areas.
Titan Panel A display manager for Broker plugins. Alternatives: ChocolateBar, StatBlockCore.

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Guild Management

GuildCheck See all changes to guild roster since your last login. Takes a few seconds after login to scan and pop up.
GuildRosterDeluxe Adds new views of the guild roster, one of which lets you sort by a main and all their alts. Requires Broker Display (e.g. ChocolateBar or Titan Panel).
GuildRosterButtons For convenience only - replaces the "two click" guild roster drop down menu with "one click" buttons.

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updated May 10, '14