The most backwards thing about the fear ward situation is the rewarding of dwarfs and draenei with what sounds like yet another amazing skill, which keeps every other priest still jealous of them to a degree. I feel especially sympathetic to Night Elves regarding this. I play horde and probably always will- and there is really no remarkable difference between horde priests worth losing sleep over, but alliance have the best priest and the worst priest, and the gap is huge.
But I will say that I'm glad for this new skill in the fact that it's a skill that just sort of replicates something many classes can do already. The worst way to design a new racial would be to make another ability that, however situational, would be something worthwhile that absolutely no one else can do. This is true for all racials, in my opinion.
The big problem with fear ward that people seemed to not understand was that it was the supreme fear counter by such a large margin, with NO OTHER reliable version of it existing elsewhere. Tremor totem and berserker simply fall very short.
Just focusing on racials it's easy to see, for example, Will of the forsaken would be absolutely ridiculous if the PvP trinket didn't exist (as evidenced by the fact that EVERYONE uses the pvp trinket). Escape artist is also sort of less noteworthy because the pvp trinket exists, as well.
And unless i'm forgetting something, it's interesting that the only other racial that practically no one else can replicate is Stoneform's bleed dispell (am I wrong? other than Thottbot World of Warcraft: Luffa)
Fear ward would not be as big a deal if there existed a way to replicate it's 100% reactive reliability and ability to nearly always have it on. Every other fear counter in the game is overwhelmingly more susceptible to timing and, thus, human error.
I rerolled priest for TBC and the faction was already chosen, horde. I had an undead available to me, but I didn't mind the idea of re-leveling and actually spent a while thinking about racials and did play troll and blood elf up to about 35 to test the waters. I came to the conclusion that horde priest racials were not worth worrying about, and all of them worked well in certain situations, so I stuck with undead out of convenience and I am generally pleased. I've never been jealous of a troll priest, but I certainly don't pity them. Blood elves I am jealous of in a few situations.
One is the ability to use this Bloodthistle - Items - World of Warcraft (lol). Hey 10 damage is 10 damage. The other is Arcane torrent- the ability to silence when silence is on cooldown is certainly something I wouldn't mind having.
But I really like devouring plague, probably a lot more than most do.