Okay, I'll admit it. I've been one of the pouters QQing about heroics and what-not. But the heavens have parted at the Blizzard ivory towers and delivered news that is sure to make the DPS throng rejoice.
Among the many buffs, nerfs, and balances coming in Patch 4.0.6, mages are getting some much needed love.
With mana costs being reduced to such spells as Arcane Barrage, Fireball, and, my favorite, Living Bomb, it will make it easier to bring down mobs within a decent amount of time. It won't be the face roll we had in Wrath, but it will be enough so that we can get through a heroic without going OOM half way through trash pulls. Yes, mana management will still be, and should be, part of the class mechanic. What makes this easier for healer and tank is that trash will be more managable for DPS to get them down and still be capable of an "oh $#!+" moment.
Cataclysm does offer mages a return to utility less often seen in Wrath. Sure, we're still the best vending machines in the game, but the use of CC has made playing a mage fun once again. Yeah, I love blowing things up, but I love strategy more. I'm slow to learn them, I'll admit. But once I get it, it's a blast (pun intended) working as a team.
I'm lucky. I have proficient players in my guild who make this game fun. Definitely, I prefer doing heroics with them. But I see this next patch making it easier to get through PUGs in the random dungeon finder, and sometimes that's all we DPS have available to us.