One item I see that's commonly overlooked (hell, I would have overlooked it were it not for a guildie that happened to do that quest) for starter defense gear is this:
Axe of Bloodstained Ice - Item - World of Warcraft
a 2H axe with 53 defense rating. I'm using that to be crit-immune (though I have better threat/stam weapons) until such time that I can get more defense from other items.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.