My fiancee is still new to the game. Very new. There was a time when we were all at this point in our playing career. We have a general idea of what to do, and we went about our business of being a noob. We tried to kill elites by ourselves, and solo Hogger at level 8. We also tried to solo Grubbelly at level 17. It is during this time of playing that you get the true feeling of progress. The first time it clicks and you say "Oh, that is how that works".
I remember when I was leveling, that the most fun I had was playing with other people online. It is still true to this day. I would have much rather helped a lower level friend out with some quests than run off on my own doing appopriate level quests. I also found that dueling could be a lot of fun....even if you were losing. I remember my first duels were in Westfall near the trade caravans. I dueled a pally about 5 times and won once. It all seemed epic despite the fact that we were only about level 12.
My fiancee does not play nearly as much as me. When she does play, she really enjoys getting achievments. Any time I take her out of the way to knock out a little achivement, she is very greatful. It really made her day when we got her the "To all the squirrels I loved before" achivement. She is also working on the 50 pets achivement to get stinker. She has been stuck at 47 for weeks. She has scanned the auctionhouse constantly looking for a new pet that doesnt cost a small fortune.
The other day, when I was looking at MMO Champion, I noticed that they had the Argent Tournament pets up. I called her over and started showing them to her. They were mostly 'meh', but one really got her attention. As you many recall, she has every Mechanostrider available in game atm. Then she saw the new Mechanopeep. It is basically a small mechanostrider pet. She let out a "SQUEE" followed by "Buy if for me". Lol at bossy. I told her she needs to get to 80 so that she can do the argent tournament herself to earn the pets. She now has that motivation to continue the quest slog to level 80. Included in her joy was a post left on Occeleta's Myspace. It simply read "O.M.G.....One Word: Mechanopeep!!!!"
I still get those moments of OMG HAVE TO HAVE IT. Right now, it is either of the tanking shields from Naxx 25 and the Last Laugh off of KT. Once upon a time it was the Green Iron set. This was back around the level 30s. I thought it looked awesome and had to have it. It did not last me all that long, but I thought I was UBER while it lasted.
I think the main point about all of this rambling, is being a happy gamer is there if you want it. The old saying, "Keep your eyes on the prize" come to mind. You can do what you like. You dont have to do what is "expected" of you. You are the only person who can truly give yourself expectations in the game world. It is not a job, they dont pay you to do it, and it should not stress you out. Find that Happy place like Happy Gimore did.....just without the midgets...unless you are into that sort of thing. Get back to what made you happy to start with, and make it feel new again!