I read the official paladin forums, and everything with the paladin seems so negative. Healbot or die, basically. And then I go raid with my guild, and I enjoy my role.
Take today's Karazhan raid, for example. There were two pallies in the raid, myself (Protection) and T (Holy). T got to buff Kings, I tossed up the other buffs. I spent most of the raid in my hybrid gear. Both of us melee'd and spot healed on all the trash. I put up Judgement of Light, T put up Judgement of Wisdom. We got to Attumen, and we pretty much did the same thing, both of us melee'ing, healing and keeping Judgements up.
When we did Moroes, I swapped into tanking gear and off-tanked the retribution paladin. After he died, I went back to melee-healing on Moroes, keeping up Judgement of Light and running Seal of Wisdom (no mana in tanking gear :( ) to fuel the spot heals. T was melee'ing Moroes as well (I think he was healing more earlier in the fight). So melee, heal, and watching for Garrotes so I could BoP people.
For Maiden, I switched to healing gear, and we did the standard Blessing of Sacrifice, then keep the tank up. Quick and easy. Just healing and decursing. I like Sacrifice, and I really wish I got to use it more.
Down to the Opera event, where we got Big Bad Wolf. This was the first time I have seen this fight. I tried melee'ing for a bit, but got tired of chasing the Wolf so I mainly healed, and only melee'd in the spaces between Red Riding Hoods. T melee-healed a bit, but spend most of the fight running away as Red Riding Hood. (Seriously, he got the debuff more times than the rest of the raid combined.)
Tomorrow we get to try Curator, which is a new boss for us. I'll probably be mainly healing, as I don't feel like getting chain-lightning-ed to death.
Anyways, it was a good raid. We killed bosses and got epics. I got a [Ribbon of Sacrifice], heh. I also picked up a [Signet of Unshakable Faith]. I actually thought it was a ring at first, and was very confused when I tried to equip it and it disappeared. Thankfully no one else wanted it, so it wasn't wasted.
I melee'd, I healed, I tanked. I got to play a paladin to the full extent of their abilities. To be honest, this is pretty much what I imaged playing a paladin would be like.
Now, maybe my guild is not at the cutting edge of content. But we are progressing steadily, and I am having fun.
Those paladins who are unhappy with standing in the back need to ask themselves why they are standing in the back. Our class actually works fairly well when melee-healing. There are guilds out there which will let you melee, which trust you to know how to play your own character. You may have to look a bit to find them, but it's well worth the effort. You will enjoy playing your paladin once more.