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Jun 17th 2011 3:46AM I think for the majority of players, if the difference in theoretical damage is any more than 2-3%, most players will (although some begrudgingly) respec en masse.
Although there are a few out there, myself included, that will almost NEVER switch from their favorite spec, unless it truly becomes broken (eg frost mage in pve). I've played an AffLock since the start of wrath, and even through Ulduar and ICC, when destro locks were OP and a dime a dozen, i never even thought about respeccing. I just have WAY too much fun playing afflic. My guild used to ask me to respec, until i constantly beat out any destro lock that grouped with us, most of whom were better geared than I. To me its all about knowing your spec and playing it well. A truly skilled player playing a sub-par spec will still beat an average one playing an OP spec.