Still there's got to be some tradeoff between armor and health, otherwise the choice between the two will be trivial (one's always better). I'd think ANet would balance it so that generally, you want a balanced build. Maybe you want to choose between more crits vs more regular damage, but otherwise you'd want to invest fairly evenly between armor, health, and damage... with deviations from that norm being mainly due to personal play preference.
Trade of for armor might also be with speed, or dexterity, alacrity, which is pretty common.
Good point though, armor shouldn't give too much advantage.
I think this is hard to discuss yet. Whether or not this becomes an issue of design depends a lot on the skills/equipment and the rest of the pvp mechanics. If you sacrifice almost all of your offense for defense, you're supposed to not be able to do anything but delay and buy your team time by preventing enemies from capturing points.
This becomes problematic if your character can somehow still DPS through skills that have inherently high base damage, or if that character can still CC the **** out of everyone.
I don't see it becoming an issue at all for casual play due to the nature of time/point based gameplay, but as we've seen over and over players are creative beyond the imagination of any developer. This will definitely be a concern for them to look at if they really intend to capture the essence of competitive gaming for GW2 as with so many other balance related issues.
Generally speaking, devs tend also to put diminishing returns. So if you invest for example all your points in armor or health, you get less overall protection than if you split it evenly. I assume the same will hold with GW2.
After the press beta event we now know they completely removed the ability to manually distribute your attributes when you level up - the increases are now automatic and all attributes rises evenly. This seems a trend in games, first Diablo3 now GW2.
We can of course buff our attributes in many ways, mainly through gear and traits but I don't think it's necessarily a good strategy to invest heavily in attributes that are the weaker side of your profession - I'd rather focus on what your profession/build does well and make the best of it, of course as long as the weak sides can be played around by appropriate play technique or selection of an utility skill.
I think uneven distribution of points will make your character specialized... that is, strong in some ways, weak in others. That only makes sense if you find ways to compensate for your weaknesses, otherwise that leads to loss of efficiency imo. A balanced build would by comparison be rounded, yet not shine either in any respect. Balanced should work for most purposes just well though.
Behind all these changes I see one thing being especially targeted, unique game play possibilities. Just as Alaris mentioned with "specialized". One is only able to fill 2 1/3 of their available trait lines at one time.
I like the auto attribute fill with the passive effects putting points into a certain trait line gives as well; imo this supports the weapon set combinations even more, making them more potent, unique. Though it would be fun to manually distribute attribute points, that may just lead the game into a never ending balance issue; guess ANet is making it as easy as possible to upkeep.
Please also note that, among others, the following builds are possible with 70 points:
30-30-10: that's 2 maxed lines and one medium line. Compare with WoW where you usually have one deep line and hardly anything in the others (eg healing or tanking palas).
20-20-20-10: This is 3 pretty deep lines with 7 major traits in 4 disciplines.
30-10-10-10-10: 1 deep line and a major trait from every other line. Did anyone say versatile without cutting corners at specialization?
Since at 10 points every major trait is available, this actually means there is absolutely no reason at all to go deeper if you don't need the trait. Most likely the stat points are easily balanced by gear if necessary. Your points give a focus to what you do marginally better but your major traits say what you really do best.
Actually you always have exactly 7 major traits regardless of where you spec them (if you push 10 points at a time). Ten points gives you any trait you like, there is absolutely no reason to put points into a trait line that doesn't offer you a good major trait.
Of course minor traits make this slightly more complicated, but since they're minor, they shouldn't influence choices too much.
At least that's my opinion.