Reader VyseV1 took some time off from lurking on the official forums to point us in the direction of a post where Ghostcrawler responds to some Paladin concerns... with love. Alright, I'm exaggerating, but at this point, after the class has been dealt some severe nerfs, his responses are more than encouraging. In particular, he mentions that the eventual plan is to put Divine Shield and Avenging Wrath on the same 30 second cooldown, indicating that the Forbearance hotfix was a mere band-aid.
Ghostcrawler also mentions that Divine Shield's attack speed penalty -- a remnant of the days when Paladins largely got majority of damage from auto-attacks -- will be revised to a reduction in total damage done. This means that Sacred Duty will likely be reworked to accommodate this change. One of the more interesting points that he brought up applies to all mana-based classes but is great news for Retribution Paladins who have paltry mana pools: Blizzard will be changing mana drain effects to take away a percentage of total mana instead of a flat number.
I don't want to get my hopes up, but Blizzard is considering Vengeance stack back up to five, to ensure that sustained damage remains competitive with other DPS classes. The best part of Ghostcrawler's recent posts for me was the possibility that Crusader Strike might receive a secondary effect. Since Crusader Strike lost its Judgement-refreshing feature in Echoes of Doom, it has been an underwhelming 41-point talent. Sure, it deals excellent damage and is still our bread and butter strike, but it's... boring. A weapon damage melee strike as a talent only shines because the class doesn't have any baseline melee strike abilities.
Ghostcrawler ends with a reminder that Blizzard has been paying more attention to Paladins and the Retribution tree than pretty much any other class or spec lately (which is true), indicating their intention to make Retribution competitively fearsome. Just not quite as fearsome as it turned out over the past weeks. He reminds us that "If we wanted Ret to be a joke, we would have just left the tree as it was, and maybe kicked it a little for good measure." Little nuggets like these is why I don't stop believing in Blizzard, even if we did get nerfed to the ground.