Purpose of Fire mages?

In all the years I've been playing this game, I've always loved fire mages. However, I've come to realize they never really serve much of a purpose. For PvE, all you see is arcane mages. For PvP, all you see is frost mages. In regards to PvP, you'd have to be crazy not to spec for frost. So is the fire mage simply meant to be a novelty? What is the point of the fire spec?
Fire has been a very strong PvE spec since Ulduar (maybe not the best). In ICC, it was the top DPS spec among all classes and specs.

The reason you're seeing a surge of Arcane Mages at the moment is because we severely overgear the majority of content, and the changes for Cata boosted damage by quite a lot (especially Arcane). Encounters now are incredibly short, so Arcane can literally get away just spamming Arcane Blast and rock the meters. That said, "Cata will fix it".

Fire has always had it's place in raiding though, except maybe MC and BWL :P Some part of me really wants the new Ragnaros to be Fire immune, just for nostalgic reasons.
Fire tends to do well in PvE, because it's bad in PvP and gets the fewest nerfs. It's not certain this will continue into Cata though, because Pyromaniac and Impact really biases Fire towards AE situations and may make it something of a niche spec, with Frost and Arcane more common. No one knows yet!

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