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First of all, they're not penalizing you for switching skills. They're giving you a bonus for being brave enough to stick to one loadout.
As you say here...
I've done this with my Witch Doctor, though she's still only at level 53. When I get to higher levels with her, though, I want to find the best combination of skills so that I can take on every encounter, regardless of it being trash mobs or Act bosses, so I can keep the Nephalem Valor.
Honestly, when I hear people saying they want to keep Nephalem Valor regardless of skill switching, I just think next they'll want 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor upon reaching Paragon level 1 and it'll always be on. And it'll never go away. And then they'll want to be rewarded for switching skills...where's the line?
Again, Blizzard isn't penalizing you for changing skills, they're rewarding you for making the game hard for yourself. Yes, they encourage trial and error, and switching skills...I guess they figure by the time you make it to level 60, you're pretty sure of your character and can do some pretty good stuff with it.
It's fun because it's challenging. My Wizard's gear isn't the greatest either, and as it stands, I do with it what I can. He's wearing 4 pieces of gear I bought from the AH, but truthfully, I've boycotted it at least a month and a half ago and I'm happy with my decision. I'll make it to higher MP levels eventually, I'm in no hurry...
But please, let's not make this game too much easier? I'm no pro at this, but I'd be happy if they said "NV stacks disappear if you die." Would it be hard? Oh yeah! Will I be able to do it? Probably not right away, but it'd be something to work toward.
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