Before the imaginary flame wars continue, let me explain myself. The catalyst for my decision was the recently announced changes to affliction. Most notably among them, the fact that Corruption and Siphon life are going to be combined into a single casting time. This change comes in response to the fact that Blizzard believes the current affliction rotation to be 'too complicated.' And in truth, affliction warlocks have possibly the most complicated rotation in the game right now.
I love that complexity though. I realize the removal of one global cooldown from the active rotation won't completely kill that complexity, but it will simplify it somewhat. It will make affliction more accessible to all the people who stopped playing their warlock because it became 'too hard.' And before that happens, I wanted to get in a few hours of play with the most difficult rotation I'll ever be likely to have. And I wanted to kick ass with it.
So does this mean that once the rotation is simplified, I'll go back to using Curse of Elements like a good warlock? Nope. While I will, of course, still use it if I feel the situation calls for it, I've noticed that, as of late, I seem to be the only one benefiting from it much. My group/guild is positively notorious for never once having a max level mage that wasn't 'too good' to run things with us, and most of the DPS we DO have is of the physical variety. Hunters, Death Knights, Rogues, and so on. Curse of Elements certainly helps them a little (arcane shot comes to mind) but given the rather significant increase in personal DPS that I've seen since talenting and glyphing properly for Curse of Agony, I think it's time for me to officially replace CoE with CoA*. Not to mention the fact that the boomkin I ran with in that screenshot seems to be playing much more actively again, so this might not be the last time I run with her!
So, for those imaginary fans of mine who strive to emulate my play style to the best of their ability, here's my new casting rotation. It's been modified for my newfound lack of trinkets with use function, as well as my new curse preference:
1) Cast one Shadow Bolt, causing the Shadow Embrace effect.
2) Cast Haunt, causing both that debuff, and a second stack of the Shadow Embrace effect.
3) Cast Corruption (I now have this bound to Ctrl+3, since if haunt is re-applied properly, it only needs to be cast once in any given fight. Moving it here allows me to keep my subsequent rotations rooted in keys 1-7. 8 is a little hard for me to reach.)
4) Siphon Life
5) Curse of Agony
6) Unstable Affliction
8) Re-apply dots as necessary, avoiding clipping (re-casting a dot before it has 100% completed.) Cast haunt whenever it's up--don't worry about clipping it. If not otherwise occupied, be casting Shadow Bolt. Life tap / Dark Pact when you've got a moment of free time too short to cast a shadow bolt in.
*I honestly never thought I would say that.