Back in the day, the paladin and shaman classes were exclusive to the Alliance and the Horde, respectively. The two classes were designed to be polar opposites, highlighting the differences between the factions. Paladins were designed to be defensive melee hybrids with tanking as one of their talent trees and no true ranged build. Shaman, of course, were offensive ranged hybrids with a caster DPS option. Because of this original bifurcated design, paladins have inherited several traits and abilities that have caused us to be typecast as the melee healers.
While the truth is that holy paladins don't need to stay in melee range to get the job done, the ideal has always persisted that paladins should be getting down and dirty with their foes. The gap between that dream and reality hasn't been a serious issue for us, but Mists of Pandaria might change that. The new mistweaver healing spec for the upcoming monk class has been described as a unique healer that relies on melee attacks to do their job efficiently. With another healer moving into our melee territory, do we have any reason to be jealous?