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Yes, the reception has been mostly negative. Personally, while I can see why some of these changes were made, I think ANet just killed the leveling experience. Hopefully, they'll do something to soften the blow, but I doubt it.
On the plus side, my Mesmer works now! Her phantasms attack enemies and even iLeap - a skill that has been broken since launch - works. Mantras finally seem good, too.
I suppose I'm pleased with the changes to my lvl 80 experience, but don't think I'll be leveling any alts anytime soon. It's painful. Ironic, considering what the pack was meant to do.