"tl:dr; Why do ranged do more damage than melee, when melee have much less uptime and much more risk?
Can you please explain/reconcile the disparity between melee and ranged in this game? You've given ranged by far the most DPS, while they're in danger the least. It would seem that since melee are the most at risk, they should have the most reward, DPS wise. Instead, I have to close the gap on my enemies and then do far less damage to them. It's particularly noticeable in group play, where I will be attacking a monster for 30 seconds, until a wizard or DH shows up and drops it in 3. Melee in group play is embarrassing. If you're a good player, you realize you can't do much against the barrage of affixes on elites, so you hang back with the ranged and do nothing. If you're a bad player, you try to kill the elites and die repeatedly. Either way, it's just straight embarrassing to take part in. I've lost in-game friends because they've told me it'd be easier with another class, and they just stop inviting me, or accepting invites.
The affixes on elites also heavily favor range, with most affixes requiring melee to leave DPS range, and simply run around waiting them out. Ranged can still DPS while this is going on. Things like mortar, which are supposed to be a ranged problem, are actually a melee problem too because you have mobs separated and one ends up mortaring right on you. If you try to run out, the others mortar you. Most every affix, save maybe fast and damage reflect, is just as deadly or more deadly for melee.
So much of a melee's passives/skills/runes are set to defensive abilities, that it feels like I'm not actually playing a dynamic class, just trying to throw percentages at an enemy to see if I come out on top.
Even in your recent Patch 1.0.3 preview you say:
"If a monk or barbarian is geared well enough that they can use a heavily offensive build and murder everything in Act I, they should be able to swap to a more defensive build and do okay in Act II. As they gear up they can begin adjusting back to becoming offensive in Act II, at which point they can jump into Act III with a focus on defense, and so on."
Why does melee have to "earn" it's chosen offensive play style, whereas ranged has that option from the start? Why do I have to suffer thru a defensive build that is less fun to play in order to earn an offensive build? You implicitly admit in that post that an offensive build is melee's goal: why do you choose to hinder this goal on Monk and Barb, but not on ranged? And then, when we do get that offensive style, it's still less effective than a ranged class? You give ranged classes great damage avoidance abilities--Mirror Image is particularly ridiculous--but you give melee classes percentage shifters: more dodge, less damage, more armor. And again, I do far less damage than the ranged classes, yet I'm tanking with my face. For one instance, look at the damage difference between say Earth Ally and Venom Hydra. It's also not a good sign when you have to stop and actually calculate if Tyrael is doing more DPS than you.
I just can't reconcile the fact that I take much more abuse, and dish out much less than ranged classes. Can you please explain your thinking behind this decision?"
As a player who has face-ground my way to act 3 inferno on my barb, and has also expereienced the play experience of a demon hunter, I for one would truly, TRULY, appreciate to have this query addressed. Please?