robes -> light armor -> heavy
bow and dual wield -> 1h & shield -> 2h -> casting
alchemy -> smithing -> enchanting
so the logical class progression is
thief -> warrior -> mage
Bow is more efficient for damage at range than Destruction magic.
1h&Sh vs 2h has similar tradeoffs.
Perk trees reward role specialization. As does level scaling. So perk investment should be specialized, reaching the top of at least one tree, preferably multiple.
That's where one optimizes for final build. Racial abilities should influence that decision. Stick to stereotype: E.g. Altmer are mages.
In the early game, one levels Thief easily by staying in safe urban zones and doing alchemy business loops. Combat is limited to assassinations, and poisoned daggers substitute for blocking. Robes are best for stealth, initially.
Once one is wealthy and established, with a house for storage, one can level Smithing and wear Light Armor, making the ranger playstyle feasible.
Further progression and increased Stamina and Health from leveling make Heavy Armor and 2h weapons appealing.
As one learns spells and Enchanting effects, the path of the mage finally opens up. One is strong enough to carry different suits of enchanted gear.
The heavy-armor battlemage is now ready to slay dragons of various elements!