I don't get why people are bashing CLC ret. It's an amazing addon. I'm logged in my prot gear, but my prot gear is better than my ret gear, and I pull pretty competent DPS with my ret gear, and I do 25 man GDKPs weekly with this toon. I don't top the meters because we have a few people that carry, but I've played with a couple other rets that outgear me and I consistently find myself competing or even outdpsing them.
Is it possible to pull more DPS if you don't blindly follow the addon? Yeah, I'm sure you can. But you also don't need to blindly follow this addon when you use it. I go against it periodically and I have had fantastic results with it because of that. Especially when I'm out of melee range, and it's telling me to CS. I'll judge to catch up, or exo if I can't judge. I'll Holy wrath during regenerative bloods because of spellcleave, and I'll use DS instead of CS when it's appropriate.
If you're pushing heroic content/progression you probably shouldn't mindlessly follow any addon period. While it's akin to making a cast sequence button and smashing it hoping to achieve amazing DPS using an addon like CLC ret is not nearly as bad. For people who play ret as an alt, do normal content, or even get heroics through nerfs...yeah, it's an amazing addon.
The only real problem it has this tier is with the T13 2 piece and the fact that the HoPo takes about 1-1.5 seconds to register. I just grabbed the two piece last week, and used it for the first time in LFR and noticed I was CSing a few times at 3 HoPo because of it.
Also, since we're on the topic of "cookie-cutter spec," that's exactly why it's called cookie-cutter. You cut out what you don't like and modify it for your own personal use. It's why the talent tree exists like it does, so not everyone has to play exactly the same, you can play to your strengths.
Oh man you couldn't be more wrong. A cookie-cutter spec means there's no/little variety. That's why they're revamping trees (again) in MoP. Because Blizzard doesn't want players to fall into cookie-cutter specs. It's mostly dominant in DPS because...well DPS is math. Healing/Tank tends to be slightly more lenient, but every spec basically has a skeleton/cookie-cutter spec that you must use followed by like 1-3 floater talents.