I got my mesmer up to level 6. This time it's much smoother going than the previous attempts. I think having scepter as the starting weapon makes it really painful. Once I did a few quests and bought a staff off the TP, it's so much easier.
Weapons I like are the staff, all the skills are good. Sword main hand's #2 attack is surprising strong, does lots of damage and blocks for 2 seconds. The gun offhand's illusion duelist is fun with its dual pistols pew pewing. The great sword feels weak when the mob is right in your face, since its damage is more the farther you are from the mob.
My mesmer is a norn female hottie, and that stopping the minotaur stampede event is awesome for training weapons. Happened twice while I was playing and I would just tag every mob I can and unlocked most of my weapons that way.
Edit: btw that link's videos are pretty long but I like the guy's detailed explanations. I only watched part of it due to it being so long but an awesome introduction to mesmers.
Edit2: Part 1 of his video explained how the staff worked. Basically the ball thingy would hit the mob then bounce back to you (or the closest ally). There's a master trait in the illusion line that gives it (and other bouncy skills) another bounce, so it makes it like you cast it twice. 2 conditions on mob and 2 boons on you in one hit. Can't wait to get it!
Edit3: The guy in the video reminded me (if I bothered to read the skill) that staff #4's curtain gives you swiftness (10 seconds, 30 seconds CD) so it's good to use when soloing. Nomnom. Not as good as warrior's warhorn (10 out of 20) or elementalists numerous options, but still better than nothing and no weapon switch needed (although putting that curtain down will take a bit of practice).
Wow, been a long while since I posted this. I must have remade my mesmer a few times since then, but keep giving up since she feels so weak at the start. Supposedly it really takes level 35-40 before you get all the traits to make things smoother (like illusions cripple when they are killed, illusion on dodge, etc).
I made a new one and I'm using GS/S+P for leveling. While I love the staff skills, it seems to be more defensive in nature, so when I used that before to level it was a bit more painful. GS/S is enough dps to kill mobs, especially since I am also stacking the deck in my favor by leveling in zones below me. I'm cycling through the newbie zones.
I really want to make the mesmer work, so fancy and has butterflies!