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MoP is easily the best WoW has been since Ulduar, was a MUCH better than Cataclysm and the second half of WOTLK
Vanilla/BC era was better
I haven't played MoP or Cata (other than to come back to level new characters during the redone Azeroth at the beginning of Cata), so I can't really answer that question. I can offer that the transition from vanilla to BC was my favorite; and BC was the expansion that kept my attention the most consistently. It contained some of the absolute best raid encounters ever made. I also enjoyed the gated progression and how relevant every single dungeon and raid remained throughout the entire xpac. Even after BT and Hyjal had been out for quite some time, it was still considered a significant accomplishment to have killed Vashj and Kael (bosses from the previous tier of content.)
I also had a ton of fun with 10 man hardmodes in WotlK when they were introduced with Ulduar, which was an incredibly pleasant surprise of a raid.
either if you like panda's or not, wow is better than ever. its the most complete mmo in the market by far and its way better than any past wow expansion.
some may got bored after so many years and its natural, but if you look wow in cold blood, then you will see you cant find nowhere else what it has to offer.
also dont forget battle.net. you can play with your friends either they are in your server or not. you can group up with any of your real id friends and play together. either it is questing, doing dungeons or raiding, you can play with them together as you like.
imo game until tbc sucked big time. ok, i think it too and feel nostalgia, thats for sure. but who wants to go back to 1 specc? who wants to be a tank or healer and cant farm even the most simple quest or mob? who wants to spamm 3-4 hours for a tank to a hc dungeon, whispering to every warrior/palla/dudu in the server? there are many more to say but i ll stop here.
the only thing i would keep from pre tbc wow is the lack of flying mounts. this is the only thing imo that blizz got wrong and it affected the game in many aspects almost all negative to me.