I have been terribly remiss in not writing this post weeks ago, and I humbly apologize. I've been so busy with all the various professions that it was hard to find time to go back to this. I suspect that part of the problem was that I did this in such a frenzy during my all-nighter on release day, that I wasn't looking forward to figuring out what I did. My notes are pretty crappy for that day, all I really have is a bag full of potions that I saved.
So here we go a-sleuthing...
I started out with Spellpower Elixir (learned @ 365), and some of you may wonder why. Well the 375 recipes require more herbs, and since I had to farm a bunch of Clover and Lily to get my Herbalism leveled, I was more willing to sacrifice the lower herbs than use up my Deadnettle for a bunch of Lesser Flasks of Toughness. If I hadn't been in a rush, I would have made Pgymy Oil instead for the first ten points, and I would recommend that route to anyone who also has Fishing. For the 375-400 range I suggest going with whatever potion maximizes the herbs you have and/or can get. In my case you can see that I'm relying heavily on Goldclover and Tiger Lily, since my herb-picker is a level 70 and can't farm other herbs as easily. Here's a list I came up with that reflects my path to 400:
375-380: Spellpower Elixir (Goldclover, Tiger Lily)
380-385: Lesser Flask of Toughness (Deadnettle, Goldclover)
385-390: Elixir of Mighty Strength (Tiger Lily)
390-395: Elixir of Mighty Fortitude (Goldclover)
395-400: Elixir of Mighty Agility (Goldclover, Adder's Tongue)
If you're trying to level Alchemy on a 70 toon, this is a good way to go. You get lots of mileage out of your Goldclover, Tiger Lily and Adder's Tongue (which is farmable at the south end of Sholazar by a 70 toon). After 400 I started working Lichbloom and Icethorn into the rotation with these recipes:
400-405: Elixir of Mighty Thoughts OR Indestructible Potion
405-425: Runic Healing AND Runic Mana Potions
425-430: Earthsiege Diamond transmute
430-440: Skyflare Diamond transmute
This is because a 70 can farm Lichbloom and Icethorn in Storm Peaks around the K3 hub. For more info on that you can read my Herbalism post.
Based on the skill level of the post-400 recipes, I would have to guess that Blizzard intends for the 400-425 stretch to primarily come from Runic potions. I can't imagine anyone making the Endless recipes for points. Naturally you can work in your first research and one of the Alchemy stones for a couple of free points, but after that it looks to be Runic all the way. I ended up making 20 Runic Healing and 11 Runic Mana potions to unlock the meta transmutes.
The 425-435 range has no options except for meta transmutes, so you may as well suck up to a desperate JC who will happily feed you mats so they can skill up on the meta cuts. I can guarantee you that they have no good options for their 420-440 range either, and will likely be grateful that you're willing to supply metas for them. Since there's no longer a cooldown on meta transmutes, you could potentially buzz right through this range if you hook up with a well-stocked partner. I used my JC to provide the gems and my Engineer farmed the Eternals for the transmutes. I was able to get my Alchemist all the way to 443 on meta transmutes (where she's currently sitting cuz I'm too lazy to keep farming :P).
Once you hit 435 you can switch to flasks if you want to get off the meta train. There's a pretty high herb cost for these puppies and I have no idea what the market is like on them. Perhaps other Alchemists who've already capped could share their thoughts on that. In general DPS consumables seem to sell the best, so if I decide to get off my keister I'll probably go with the Flask of Endless Rage. It's got the lowest herb cost and it uses up those funky Fire Leaf that no one seems to care about.
The good news is that this is entirely do-able for an alt who's at level 70, even if they have to farm their own herbs. I think I plowed through this in a few hours, and I'm including the herb picking! Basically I just went to Howling Fjord and picked Clover and Lily until I had several stacks of each. Then I went to Sholazar and picked a couple stacks of Adder's Tongue, then I moved on to Storm Peaks and got a couple stacks each of Lichbloom and Icethorn. That right there is enough to go from 375-425... after that you'll have to rely on your personal charm to buddy up to a member of the Cartier clan.
I hope this guide helps those of you who haven't leveled your Alchemy yet. And those who have are welcome to share any other tips they might be willing to divulge :)