On the Beta forums, Ghostcrawler has requested feedback about the Protection tree. Here is my response (also posted to the thread).
Which talents are fun vs. which ones aren't
Talents which are fun:
Reckoning - flurry of numbers is always cool ... plus it has History with Kazzak :)
Hammer of the Righteous
Ardent Defender - solo play only ... you really notice it in solo play and leveling, coming to the edge of death. It's not fun in group play, as you really can't tell if it is kicking in or not.
Talents which are not fun:
I wouldn't say there's any talents I dislike having to take. Even Redoubt is useful when leveling or when you are still crushable. It was just annoying when it become redundant after we became Holy Shield-uncrushable.
Oh, one talent I dislike is Deflection in the Retribution tree. I keep wanting to make a Protection/Holy build, but I have to dip into Retribution for Deflection.
Areas in the tree that tie up too many talent points vs. areas that feel barren
Pretty much everything from Tier 6 upwards is mandatory. Very top-heavy.
Tier 3 has a lot of nice talents, but Tier 4 is barren (for PvE usually). I usually skip Tier 4. As well, Tier 3 is awkward, because you have to get Kings and Improved Righteous Fury, leaving you with 1 point. So you end up putting a single point in something and leaving a talent unfilled.
Talents that feel mandatory vs. talents that feel fun but optional vs. talents you'd never get
Mandatory - Everything from Tier 6 up (maybe excepting Guarded by the Light), Kings, Imp RF
Fun but optional - Reckoning
Never Get - I don't think there's any talent I would never get. The old Sanctuary came closest to that, but the new one looks quite good.
One last thing about Protection. You have the main chain at the heart of the tree (BoSanc-HS-AS, and supporting talents), which you pretty much have to pick up, as that's the "engine" which drives the tree. All around that main chain are nice talents, but they all cost 5 points. That's where the bulk of the "bloat" comes in. The main chain is mandatory, and to get any of the surrounding talents costs a lot of points.