This question will help for two projects, one being a No-Leveling challenge, and the other being for any new game I start to help raise respective skills.
To clarify, what I'm looking for are items that can be obtained with
- little to no skill use (Lockpicking and Sneak excluded)
- No perks required
- No quest completion (starting quests is fine)
- No difficult kills (eg killing a Dragon Priest, avoidable fights are fine)
I'm specifically seeking
- High base damage
- High base defense
- High use speed (fast bows, fast weapons)
- Useful abilities can be used as tiebreakers
Note: Due to the nature of this question, mixing and matching to get the best out of what you're working with is encouraged as perks for matching sets or all light or heavy armor and such do not apply. So if say only a piece of Heavy Armor gauntlets can be found that is stronger than the gauntlets of the strongest set you can find, that is worth noting.
I will post my own answer including the items I know of and their values.