As of right now, there is no official exact release date, aside from confirmation of summer 2019. It is expected to hit the internet roughly mid-July, or possibly in August. Something as highly anticipated as WoW Classic could launch with weeks of notice and still break records. As of April 21st 2019, World of Warcraft Classic has entered internal employee alpha testing.
One may think that the AH may suffer a reduction of competitivity, leading to higher prices, but in an healthy server the gold farmer's farm will be taken over by actual players. Giving the chance to a more fair gameplay where you can go out and farm the materials that you need, instead to see them always farmed by gold sellers that sell them to you, without letting you many room to make gold in a fair way.
You will need initial funds to start this way. Buy for cheap and sell for actual price or higher – that sounds pretty easy. But you should have basic knowledge of prices and always track the market. People use to sell for cheap when they need fast gold or don’t know real value of the item. So, it’s your chance to act. If you see anyone selling an item for low price in trade channel, contact them immediately. You should use all of your trade skills to negotiate about the price to make it as low as possible. It’s important ability to communicate. Besides, it’s good to get addons to trade effectively on Auction House: Aux or Auctioneer. They allow you to scan auction, compare prices, find cheapest options, post items quickly, and many other useful tools. It is possible to make your first thousand out of ten gold you have in a pocket.

Blizz stated in a watercooler that they're using the 1.12 database as a starting point. I don't think it's a stretch for people to assume that most game features and mechanics will be in their 1.12 state. The kind of stuff I would expect to see reverted would be numerous AV changes, but I seriously doubt class mechanics are going to be reverted. I'd be surprised if the threat changes that ruin pre-naxx encounters are reverted.
Who is Joana?  Joana, (AKA Mancow, or FuriousPaul) speedran 1-60 vanilla WoW from 2005 - 2007.  I have been server first to level 60 seven times in a row, along with winning Blizzard's "First to level 50" contest they held back in 2006.  I also have the fastest time through original vanilla 1-60 WoW in 4 days 20 hours. I have produced a very useful 1-60 horde speed leveling guide along with a 1-60 speedrun video.