As for your claim that few people are starting WoW these days, my girlfriend started WoW when Cataclysm launched and still plays Mists of Pandaria today.
I think you misunderstood my point there really. As actually, I think Cataclysm was a great time to start playing WoW (with new quests all over, a reinvigorated world and a lot of players rolling new alts because of it).
As WoW is, at this time in it's life. Starting anew from scratch, what a new player does, is a daunting and very lonely task. The world you go through before you hit endgame is literally HUGE. And not many people are there as the more experienced players also feel less and less inclined to roll new alts. Heck, most die hards already have full slots of 90s, and the lesser die hards stick with the same 2 or 3 characters they have had for a while now.
Yes, you'll see a panda here and there, or someone rolling a Monk. But that is about it. Azeroth is huge, and Azeroth is extremely empty untill you reach endgame at this time. Even levelling dungeon queues take a long time. And this even ignored how horrible most of the questing experience is. This fact becomes very clear once you go from Azeroth to Outlands while levelling.. the new quests in Cataclysm are relatively fun, but then TBC and Wrath quests are, by comparison, a horrible grind compared to today's standards.
TOR, especially since server mergers, is the complete opposite. The game is done quickly enough to endgame, and the trip to 50, especially the first time, is very enjoyable. Also, at least on my server, the levelling worlds are pretty full and I hardly ever am the only one doing a quest when levelling one of my alts in any level range. It doesn't take me much effort to find the people for group quests, and if I queue for a levelling Flashpoint, even as DPS, I don't have to wait more than 30 mins to an hour on my playing hours.
For a new player, TOR is by far the more enjoyable experience to get to endgame. And seeing that it is now free, I see a lot more new players coming to TOR than WoW over the coming months, maybe even years.