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Breakfast Topic: How many characters do you play?

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Player character, character, avatar, toon... Regardless of the term you use to refer to your in-game persona, I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same thing. And today, I'm curious: how many characters do you play? If advancement is your aim, it makes a lot of sense to focus your time and energy on a single character. If efficiency is your goal, perhaps you have a pair of characters to switch between depending on rested XP or what roles your party might need filled. But if your interest is variety, perhaps you have a character of each class -- or more. For my part, I actively maintain three characters. My main (a healer) raids and in my spare time I'm leveling up two alts: one to farm with (better than my healer can) and one to tank (as tanking seems to be the hardest to find component for instance groups). Three seems to be about as many as I can juggle actively -- though I have a mid-level Paladin waiting in the wings, working on it would mean I'd neglect another character. Now that I've told my tale, I'm asking you: how many characters do you play, and why?

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