I'll also take this moment to complain that I felt like Blizzard was going back on their "every spec should be viable for leveling" thing they've been doing. I feel like they were trying to pigeonhole me into leveling ret, ret is the leveling spec, we just took a step all the way back to vanilla.
Yupyup. Agree. And priests are in a similar (holy worse) spot.
That said us (and now monks) are in a unique position - we don't HAVE a dps class that uses the stats our heal gear uses. We don't spec-share gear at ALL, unlike shammies, druids, and priests. So missing stats on gear is a really big deal, and being able to quest to GET the gear with the right stats is a big one as well.
I know I'm repeating myself, but it seems that instead of making abilities function differently in pve vs pvp situations, it was easier just to nerf the damage with an overall algorithm, instead of either changing the scaling at higher levels, or changing the way some of the abilties work in a pvp environment.
I won't argue that penance/holy shock should NOT be one shotting people in lower level bgs. I don't think anyone really thinks that was reasonable enough to last long.
At the same time, I don't think the coefficient that ramps up the damage is effective at the higher levels, where mob health starts at around 145k hp in zone 1, and is already almost double that on average halfway through. And I've hit a few around 1 mil HP, like the last part of the Temple of the White Tiger quest (embodiment? spirit? of hatred).
I don't have the developer tools to say "here's what would fix this perfectly!" What I can tell them is the "level as any spec to get rewards for that spec!" isn't working well at all past 86/early 87. That the stat weights for healers, or at least plate healers, needs reworked so we don't lose a bloody ton of spirit "upgrading."
That something needs adjusted to make levelling in your heal spec at least moderately less painful. (I'm not asking for equal dps to a dps class - just a reasonable scale up so we can keep up as mob HP scales up so high.)
And several classes/specs need at least a semi-effective AoE with the way some of the mobs have been designed.