Honestly, you can roll with just about anything these days. Even tenacity pets do respectable damage. I wouldn't necessarily take one into a progression raid, but now that the attack power of pets has been normalized across the board, you could get away with taking something like a warp stalker if you want.
I've been enjoying a dps spec'd squee spider for grouping. Yes, it's tenacity. Yes, I have every dps talent I could pick on him and minimized any tanking ones. Yes, the little guy is just stinkin' ADORABLE! I've never had a pet who seemed so utterly enthusiastic, overjoyed even, to be sent into battle.
EDIT: With the exp issue originally in limbo, I'd decided to pick 4-5 pets to ensure, NO MATTER WHAT, I got to 84 at least before I dinged 85 so the last level would be tolerable enough while I did JP grinding/gear camping.
For Davarra (MM, tho not for much longer/BM):
1. Spike the ravager...I'm sentimental, he was one of my original set, and one I've always been very fond of. Is he the BEST? Prolly not once I picked up BM, but most groups can benefit at least somewhat.
2. Murloc (Loque)....I camped him too long and wanted him tooooooo bad not to. Plus, he holds up pretty well in almost all situations.
3. Gondria....I got her a few hours before expansion went live, it was meant to be. I don't care if she'll turn out exactly the same as Murloc, they're both very beloved.
4. Bug the beetle...DPS spec, a bit of an impulse, basically "Hey, that's kinda pretty.." but also tough as nails.
4b. Velketor the squee spider. Didn't think I'd like em as much from the pic as I did once I saw em. Smaller, plus a group friendly ability...a bit easier to sweet talk folks into letting me get by with. Replaced Bug in the rota once I got this lil guy.
5. Rocket the purple croc. Full tank, and oh so pretty! Saw the night before I got to that quest, told hubby "I must have this thing!" and wisely he just decided to go along.
1. Jadefire: Her original ravager, and her first dps pet. Take most of what I said about Spike, apply here.
2. Helbacon the helboar...another dps tenacity. He's ever so much fun to bring out with warrior/rogue/feral groups, and honestly my go-to pet for most tough soloing.
3. Ran the fox: Group utility and I'm a Touhou fan. Deal with it
4. Crash the Devilsaur...I wanted this skin so bad it hurt on Davarra and had no luck. Yay second chances? He really is tough and SUCH a charmer, tho.
5. Runty the core hound. Bite me, I RP. I went back and carried his tiny self out, fed him up, and he's just as big as his brothers would have been. If I have enough stable slots at the end, I'll go rescue his brothers too!
I really wanted Gondria or Skoll on her, but she was an impulse spec change about 15 min into Hyjal and it's a long way back.
I haven't finalized Sunhawke's list yet, but it's lookin real good for her first cat Nanaki, and Arikara the windserp. She's surv, with a ret pally partner, so...
I'll go back and try to give Lyro's windserp another chance but he totally didn't click so far, and I'm debating about just getting a dragonhawk for her surv spec, but I'm hesitant between "Put that big pet up, huntard!" and "ur usin the rong pet noob!".
Which is the lesser of the evils?
Sig and av by the very talented Kurenio!