Well, there were two things I was looking forward to in patch 3.1 (noblegarden was not one of them btw): the Argent Tournament and dual specs. Due to my server switching (not really switching as much as returning), I lack the appropriate level to do much of anything with the Argent tournament (and if it is the PvP hell that the sunwell dailies were, I will not be doing it on the horde server). However, I was able to experience the goodness that is dual specs and obviously I have some thoughts on the subject.
My thoughts on picking an off spec:
In general, paladins and druids should probably be a healing off-spec. Obviously individual circumstances will vary, but being able to fill the two most important roles in a group will help greatly. Other tanks (warriors and DK's) if they want an off-spec can go DPS (my choice would be fury for warriors and unholy for DK's, blizz has made blood a less appealing option). Shammies and priests would benefit from a healing spec and a DPS spec, the advantage of these two is that they can use functionally the same gear with very little modification (the only major difference would be hit, not too worried about heals "hitting"). Hunters, Rogues, and Mages: dual spec if you want to, I think it's a waste of cash, but it's your 1k to blow.
My dual spec selections:
I have 2 level 74 paladins (basically one I intend to potentially raid with, and one who'd be better for it if I could find 9 other people I'd want to raid with). My blood elf pally I went protection/retribution, my human went protection/holy. I had originally intended to go protection/holy with both, but as the guild I'm in on the horde side has plenty of heals and more on the way, when I'm not tanking I am kind of standing there doing lousy DPS so ret would be a major improvement. My hordie had to make the biggest adjustment. I don't believe he had been specc'd retribution since the 40's and that was WELL before the sweeping changes they made to make ret more "viable". I spent about a half hour just leveling 2h sword. Its decent, not very comfortable, I will still do the bulk of my questing as prot, but it will be a nice option for instances and when I need to kill single mobs that I can't AoE effectively. I chose Holy on my PvE server because for pugging instances, if I can't tank them, I can almost definately find a spot healing. I healed with this character up through ramps, I don't think it will be a huge adjustment for me, I do need to create some macros (super crit holy shock heal for starters), but I doubt I will even run heroics with him. I intend to do more goofing around and leveling alts on the alliance server.
For me, as a hybrid class player, I think dual specs are great and well worth 1000g (and this coming from someone with no epic flyers due to budgetary reasons). They are great flexibility and make it super easy to change. Obviously, the big winners from this are paladins and Druids, but most classes in the game can gain some benefit.
Mid Afternoon Quickie
10 months ago