Underlined the main question if you don't feel like reading through the whole post.
Hi there, I'm new to TankSpot but from what I've seen this seems like it'd be a good place to get a little help on the biggest concern I've had for when I get to level 80 (6.11 levels to go!):
How do I start gearing up for 10man Naxx, then 25man Naxx, and then Ulduar and (when its released) TotC?
Do I just wait till I'm 80 and do 10man Naxx with random greens from quests (maybe blues, I don't know what level 78-80 quests give)? Or do I need to run some Heroics before I could be a useful DPS in Naxx?
I realize that this not being for gearing a tank (my tanks level 17 ) might not be optimal for TankSpot but I just want a basic answer.
Basically, can a Hunter get away with quest gear at level 80 for 10man Naxx? If not, suggestions for what instances I should do would be appreciated.
You can probably find better answers at elitistjerks.com in the hunter forums. However be careful how you post there. Since you're here and i'm bored heres a start.
There is quite a bit of craftable gear out there. I'm not sure how your funds look, but look into getting those pieces made. There are also quite a few pieces that are BoE that drop from both Naxx and Ulduar, again if you have the funds, they can be a solid investment. Once you get a working gear set, start running dungeons, both normal and heroic 5 mans. If you're not in a guild, try to find one that focuses on running heroics(they do exist), and join them. Being in a group of people that are the same gear level as you won't gear you as fast as being in a more progressed group, however it will give you a MUCH better opportunity to learn to play your class. Once your gear gets a bit better, look into pugging into OS10 or Naxx10 runs(unless your guild does those as well, in which case, go with your guild).
Make sure you do research on your class/spec. Different class/specs gear/gem/enchant differently. Make sure you are maximizing your DPS, by setting yourself up for success. There should be a class spreadsheet available at EJ for hunters that you can pick up. Failing that, RAWR is a standalone external program that can help with gearing and the like.
Finally spend some time with the target dummy. Knowing your rotation cold will boost your dps more than almost anything else.