After writing my original melee hunter rant, I woke up this afternoon to find people in the forum still advocating the way of hunter melee. Someone also commented on BRK's blog that he didn't feel that I specifically went into the mechanics enough...so here it is again, in bullet form, focused on the mechanics, and without my customary abstract waffling.
Why Hunter Melee Is A Bad Idea, The Attention Deficit Disorder Version:-
1) Our damage mitigation from armor will never be above 45%.
2) With range these days I can do Steady/Auto rotations which will occasionally both crit for 1k each, meaning that for purely that rotation anywayz my effective DPS is probably around 5-700...and my long term sustained max DPS according to Recount is 242. The best sustained melee DPS I can get is about 180, and given that that's with daggers, that's assuming I'm fighting cloth wearers...since against anything with higher armor, my damage will go down due to mitigation. An immolation trap will maybe push that up about another 10-20, depending.
3) If you want to find out just how viable it really is, try doing it in the presence of a newb healer, not a good one. Unless Deterrence is up, you will marvel at how quickly you'll die...and even if you've got a good healer, watch how frantically he has to keep casting in order to keep you alive.
4) We can't do decent sustained melee damage with anything that has an attack speed of more than 1.7, tops...and even then it won't go beyond the listed paperdoll DPS. By contrast, with range I can go close to 100 dps higher than what's listed on my char sheet, and I'm a newb. Hunters at 70 who really know how to play can go much higher.
5) There are probably at least three other classes that can give someone playing a melee Hunter what they want, and with said other classes they'll be doing it a heap more effectively and actually helping their group. By contrast, with a melee hunter, a group has to be more focused on keeping the hunter alive than actually killing things.
No, I'm not telling other people how to play. There are people who've been doing this, and who are going to keep doing it, regardless of what anyone says. That's fine...it's your funeral. Just realise that you're very likely to get increasingly frustrated as you continue to play the game, especially if actually doing serious damage was what you had in mind. There are changes that Blizz could make that would render Hunter melee viable, and I'll admit that I'd love it myself if they did...but given the current mechanics, it doesn't work.