As we all know, with 3.0 came 5 more levels, and whilst I'm not that keen on many of my alts on either Faction, I do now have one of each base Republic class at level 60, the latest being my Sage, Eirahnos. Still got three Imperials to get up until I become a Galactic Legend, and so it may be some time until that happens.
What's really been interesting is seeing where each of the classes which I have not had the best of experience with are at now, just in case I suddenly found myself enjoying a class in 3.0 that I relegated to the sidelines in favour of the Gunslinger/Sniper duo.
From most-proficient to least-proficient pre-3.0:
I still find myself drawn to the Gunslinger, Calphaya, as I still find hers to be among the most fun of the classes. Yes, we may have lost certain abilities all specs used to get and only Marksmanship has an armour debuff, but it is still a very fun class to play. Sweeping Gunfire is now an incredible ability; with Marksmanship, it becomes one of the two hardest-hitting AoEs in the game, being up there with Forcequake for Sages. I haven't yet checked how Dirty Fighting - the other spec I used to delve into - fares, but I am quite curious to see how it itself handles. Penetrating Rounds is actually quite bland; same animation as Speed Shots - which I don't mind in the least - but the blasts themselves are white regardless of your Crystal colour, which is the only negative feeling I have about my favourite class in 3.0.
The alternate that I can claim to have most proficiency with is Ziodus, the Commando. He used to be my long-standing main (1 1/4 years, after he himself superseded my old Vanguard) before Calph took over in May 2014. Despite this familiarity, he was the third Republic character I levelled. As with Marksmanship, Gunnery seemed like it would fundamentally be the same apart from a new offensive - and quite powerful! - ability that granted the instant Grav Round every 18 seconds in place of the second charge of Tech Override* which Gunnery used to have as part of its Skill Tree. Whilst I was never proficient with Assault, I must say that Gunnery feels like it is in a much better place overall; Vortex Bolt (the aforementioned new ability) is awesome, although Bolt Storm - Full Auto's replacement - seems very over the top. I much preferred Full Auto's simple bullet-stream.
In the months before 3.0, I found myself drawn to Eirahnos, my Balance Sage, who was mainly forged in PvP. My fondness for him was such that I believed he would become the new main character, although he eventually fell out of favour despite staying the go-to PvP character. Balance is still in a good position - although I have heard people complaining about the four stacks of Presence of Mind occasionally bugging out for them and not going above 3 - although I do have to say that I no longer find it as fun as I once did. Vanquish is a very nice new ability, and Force in Balance spreading Weaken Mind and Sever Force to all afflicted targets** is a huge change for mob-killing.
This only leaves one other. The least proficient and least-used by far on Republic was the Jedi Guardian, Rahnga, who was previously Focus due to Vigilance being a bit too clunky for my liking whilst Focus was comparatively simpler. This was before the changes to Vigilance that people claimed made it much easier. So of course I checked out Focus when loading into him for the first time in 3.0, although I swiftly abandoned the spec. Compared to where it was at, Focus has perhaps too many abilities to use which makes it seem really quite clunky. By contrast, Vigilance is a breeze. The rotation is much easier to pick up than it was before, and the new ability - Vigilant Thrust - is gorgeous. Not only does it hit for twice as hard as Force Sweep, but its animation is easily the best in the Guardians' arsenal. There is one additional change to Knights in general which is beautiful. Force Stasis is now a 1.5 second channel that applies a 4-second stun, and this can now be channeled whilst on the move. This is so much better than a full 4-second channel that kept you immobile throughout; now you can move, and the victim is stunned for two seconds whilst you batter away with them with another ability. This also, therefore, means that it can be used as a filler in a standard rotation. I found myself incredibly surprised by the changes to Guardian, and I have no shame in denying that he has very swiftly become my second-in-favour on the Republic side. As he is also my oldest surviving character*** (February 2012), it's very nice to see him finally in regular use besides just "being there" for the sake of Achievements.
This is very much a personal "bragging" post, so I'm sorry if you don't like seeing this sort of thing, but I have been wanting to get my feelings on the standings of Guardians in particular out for quite a few days now, and Eirahnos reaching 60 today gave me the reason I needed. As I have mirrors of the Commando and Sage impside, I will not be doing such a post whenever I attain Imperial Mastermind and Galactic Legend.
* Whilst this is a Heroic Utility, I would not endorse choosing it over other options in the "Heroic" Utilities tier for either DPS or Healers in PvE or PvP.
** This only works if it damages one target with either or both of these DoTs. If it kills said target, the DoTs will not spread. The same is true of any periodic-spread by any singular ability.
*** Amusingly, the Jedi Knight is the only class I have yet to restart. I have had at least two representatives of each of the other classes; the record highest so far is 5 for both Trooper and Hunter.