Even when it is true that hunter dps has been poor for the whole expansion in general (5.4 was "ok" for a while), many top guilds have kept their hunters playing, and many of them have completed SoO with 2 or 3 hunters as average.
The whole class stacking and raid setup is a legitimate concern up to a certain point, but 99% of the time it is used as an excuse to cover other weaknesses and the lack of success. Most of the time, using your 25 best players will be the best and fastest way to progress for the average HC guild over a whole raid tier.
Well, being a mediocre dps without a raid CD hurts because, whilst having people not fuck up will result in a kill outside of the bleeding edge yes, but having a class that bring a raid CD which mitigates damage or heals might make you be able to scale back on healers and you will end up with a higher raid DPS, meaning the fight or specific phase will be shorter will in turn make the chance to fail in that period smaller since it's shorter, the same can be done with having a class with higher personal damage than a hunter.
So while yes, playing with the best people will usually give you the best, but in cases where you can scale back on a healer or make it so your tanks can go bit more mad with vengeance and such due to CDs you end up getting higher raid DPS which makes fights easier due to time.
Bring the player and not the class
Except if your class has devotion aura, then bring devotion aura
But seriously, basing "who sits" on their dps alone is abit stupid
As for your question, I think warlock's a bad example due to how incredibly resilient to standing in fire they are, but you're overstating it again. I don't think any guild has ever been recruiting and said "I think we should recruit this hunter because hunter's are easy to play, and therefore he won't die as much as other classes", it's more likely to be "I think we should recruit this warlock/rogue due to the fact that they have many defensive abilities and therefore he won't die as much as other classes". The answer is that you pick which ever player is going to be best for your raid, based on DPS, utility, loot distribution, individual skill and personality. Hunter's are generally disadvantaged in DPS/utility (the point of this discussion) but it's definitely true that you can overcome that with those other factors (not the point of this discussion).
I agree. Player skill is by far the biggest factor in killing bosses, but class balance still matters in the edge cases and it's something Blizzard can and should address.The whole class stacking and raid setup is a legitimate concern up to a certain point, but 99% of the time it is used as an excuse to cover other weaknesses and the lack of success. Most of the time, using your 25 best players will be the best and fastest way to progress for the average HC guild over a whole raid tier.
I hate that raid cooldowns are a mandatory endeavor that's caused too many OQueue pugs to boot folks based on a few second cooldown.
It originally wasn't poor design, just poor social choices.
Now with Raiding being much less social and much more "par the course" it's time Blizzard changed this garbage.