I was wandering around the blue post roundup on wow.com, and came across Running out of mana was never fun. Ghostcrawler's remarks were interesting, but what I'd really like to talk about is mana regen in healing and dpsing.
Now, when I got to 80 on my hunter, I was marks. Marks was rather horribly mana-inefficient at the time. As in sting, chimera, arcane, aimed, hey look there went a quarter of my mana pool. It was a challenge to do as much damage as possible given this limitation. I figured out which bosses in Naxx had mana pools and used Viper Sting + Chimera shot on them to get mana back. I spent a lot of time at the test dummies figuring out how to get the most mana back in the minimum amount of time with Aspect of the Viper while in combat. It was a fun challenge, but not an overwhelming one. If I failed at it, well, my dps went down. That was it.
As a healer, if I run oom, people die. If I have no mana, I am a useless priest. This means the mana game is no longer a game, and I do everything possible to make sure I don't need to worry about mana. Now, I have Solace, which gives me mana regen every time I cast a helpful spell, so I don't worry much. But I remember the not-fun days, where I was always worrying about mana, in addition to worrying about healing, where I was standing, and if I was doing okay or not. Healing's a higher-stress job, so having more worries is understandable and as long as the fun to worry ratio is good, I'm not going to stop healing.
But is there any way to make the mana game as a healer like the mana game as a hunter? From what I've seen, holy pallies do have that. They basically manage their own regen dynamically, and that's what I want as a priest. Hymn of Hope and Shadowfiend are all well and good, but I want something more. Don't know what, exactly, but I'll continue to hope that Cataclysm has it. Until then, you can have my Solace of the Defeated when you pry it from my cold dead hands.