You are not the only one at level 1. This is ESPECIALLY true as it's character bound and not account bound.
1. It hasn't even been a week and people are advertising from 1-12 from what I've seen on my own server and overflows. It is also a touch more difficult to get past the lower levels because people are not familiar with the maps yet (Get swamp? Quit and re-try without voice comm) so wipes and rage quits come faster. It's going to be difficult to find a PuG for this very quickly. If it's not meant to be PuG friendly then the November 15th update was a whole lot of terrible.
2. The ascended item drops are account bound, not character bound. The difficulty levels earned may be character bound but I would never willingly limit my group options by jumping on another character when I could get so much more playing whichever of my characters has access to the higher levels. This is especially true since the ascended items come level 10+ are going to become more of a necessity; I'm not about to blow 500 T6 materials and 100 ectos just so I can have two characters who can perform on equal footing.
Ascended items, in their words, were supposed to be something to work on after exotics but before Legendaries. See, I find that kind of funny since when I look at the recipes for making those back items they require 250 of a T6 material (needed for Legendary), skill points (needed for Legendary), and ectos (oh look, needed for Legendary). How am I supposed to work on my Legendary when my ascended gear is consuming the materials I also need for my Legendary? Also, the whole fact that an exotic piece will cost a gold piece if you're not picky about the skin but ascended items? Probably 20+ gold, in that range? Anet that's not another step, that's a gargantuan leap.