What Makes Mages Fun?

This character was my main from vanilla through Cata, but the changes in Mists made him no longer fun to me. Aside from each spec losing its . . . well specialization, since Blizzard decided that as a frost mage you should be USING ALL YOUR SPELLS, LOL, ARCANE EXPLOSION NEWB! (sorry, I've always deeply hated arcane explosion), and giving what used to be core mechanics of a spec up as talent choices instead. And then there's a change to combustion where it now only effects 3 targets and does a fraction of the damage . . . (One of my best mage memories was getting an absurd crit in Firelands and spreading that massive combust to an entire pack of mobs, thereby saving the raid from what was turning into a trash wipe.)

The biggest thing that I'm still struggling to get used to is the bombs. They're apparently critical for maintaining damage, and a complete pain in the !@#. Recasting them over and over like some sort of Paladin's Inquisition. If using frost bomb, interrupting all the other spells and procs for a big long cast every seven seconds or whatever the cooldown is.

And then there's the loss of our AoE. So far leveling has been a painful experience, and the days of being able to round up a small army and bring them down with well placed blizzards appear to be gone.

So, what makes mages fun to play? I'm working on getting over the changes and finding the joy in the mage once again, because I genuinely love my mage. He's been the flagship of my WoW experience, and though he seems like a cheap conjurer next to my warlock, he's got a lot of sentimental value. So what mechanics, tricks, or special spells that only a mage has make the mage your favorite character?

And how did you get used to those bombs?
The only spec that's really lost its flavor is fire imo. That spec was, and should always be, the aoe king. Setting EVERYTHING ON FIRE!! was its appeal.
Frost was always fun for me by slowing and kiting people. Now it's like burst or bust.
Fire was fun with the old blast wave knocking people back and arcane was just there as something you want to try then you do and realize why you never want to again.
I actually love the current arcane design with regards to PvP. I find it incredibly fun. Too bad the design is just about unplayable in the current arena environment.
Frost bomb is a long cast at 1.5 seconds?
Take one of the instant bombs if you don't like your hardest hitting spell with a short cast time/cd.

Frost aoe is bad?
Your doing it wrong put on a frost bomb freeze that small army and launch frozen orb after the detonation, blink through the mobs to force them back through it. After a few seconds cast frost bomb again and freeze them with your remaining freeze. Use procs liberally.

An OP one in a million combust saved your raid from a trash wipe?
I really doubt that made a difference in your guilds progression as a whole.

You hate arcane explosion!
Use blizzard...

You want gimmick?
Lay down a frost bomb and frozen orb once you have 3 procs alter time and start blasting. You then return to having 3 procs and negate any damage you took during the AT.

I find mage to be one of the few intresting characters to play and I tried a warlock last season and found it to be pretty dull. Sure incinerate spam with fire/brimstone looks fun but its limited and its more fun to CS the warlock sheep him if nobodys attacking, ring of frost him out of that put a frost bomb on him and take him for a deep freeze out of that.

To clarify I love the CC, Burst damage, decent caster mobility, Panic Button with iceblock, and ability to do decent burst w/o crutching on 2+ minute cds all in one place. I do admit that hunter has many of these same qualities and cannot be interrupted. Hunter pets are also fun!

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