Well after reading what GC has had to say this week about balance druids I don't see staying balance for Cataclysm. Here are the links to the threads.
When I started playing this game I picked a druid, figuring to a be a power spell caster, not an overweight punching bag. Balance is a fringe spec that doesn't get the time that others do, and will remain fringe because it isn't that fun to play. Eclipse the perfect example, they tried it, everyone hated it, but they put too much time into it to come up with something different, so an entire expansion of this crap. There is only so much time the developers have to work the game and playing one of the specs at the bottom of the priority list isn't fun. If they don't get it right the first time then wait for another expansion, no thanks.
I know that just sounds like QQ, but it's just common sense. The devs are good at what they do, but they only have so much time to balance this game with it's thirty specs among all the other things they do. They only have so much time to dedicate to balance druid pve and if the dps itself is passable they are going to let it be. When it comes to balancing pvp it's a quality of life issue for everyone when buffing. Part of the reason season 5 sucked was because of out of control overpowered classes. Classes/specs being underpowered really only effects those class/specs. Right now balance is bad that only effects balance druids and there aren't that many. If I were them buffing balance would be at the bottom of my priority list too.
Anyway I could go resto, but I really enjoy caster dps. I'm thinking of leveling a mage, I'm not basing anything on current performance, I'm basing it on the developers philosophy and track record. Pure classes will always do more dps, and if mages aren't at or near the top they will be buffed. Hybrids dps gets buffed to make sure they will still take you. It might suck, but as long as it doesn't suck so bad that raids stop taking you, you are fine. I'm not real interested in that.
They may "get it right" this time, make eclipse fun and interesting (opposite of current) and they may give balance the tools to be a viable casters dps in arenas. I could see balance being reworked to be fun in pve, I doubt it, but it's possible. I have no reason to believe that balance will ever be viable in pvp, prot specs became viable before balance, what else says screw you more than making tanking specs viable for pvp dps before a dps spec, pretty much nothing.
So, I'll be working on leveling a mage. I have complained about moonkins and wondered what it would be like to play a pure caster, time to find out. That's all.