I only did some city exploring with the Elementalist this weekend and some WvW, which went more smoothly althouhg I only used a D&D weapon combo and had to go right to the heart of each fight. The lag in WvW was a bit less so I had the chance to see something and could react most of the time.
From what I can read on the official forums, the wailing about the skill & trait tires is less than I expected, after favourites like Written in Stone were hit hard as a tier 3 trait.
The problem with the slow unlock speed of skills remains and has not been dealt with yet. I still see that as a problem to make the Ele enjoyable from the beginning. Lets face it: Slow unlocks mean less available skills = more difficult to kill (which is necessary to gain an unlock advancement). Not sure if rewarding 70% of the XP to the attunement that was active when the kill happened and 10% to each other inactive would work.
News from the official forums:
This is definitely a problem that we would like to address. While it only happens once per play through on a given character it still feels a bit unwieldy on Elementalist. - Jon Peters