First off, this is a great topic: it's a great time to look back and talk about what worked and what didn't, in the first xpac of pet battles.
Azrile wrote:balanced too closely where even if you had the perfect team and had the sequence memorized, you were one RNG roll away from losing.
I agree with Kpb here -- if you're one RNG roll from losing, then there's room to build a better team. Having a robust strategy is part of the challenge.
However the way they enforced that challenge was terrible. Making you start over from the beginning if you fail on the 7th fight is frustrating and demoralizing, and that's at the root of 90% of the complaints I see here and on the WoW pet forums. This simply needed to be implemented better. If the intention was that we use diverse teams, then fine: disqualify a pet from further fights after it wins a battle. If the intention was to encourage consistent strategies, then give us a rez timer or something.
The current system is unacceptable, because it doesn't allow you to iterate on an almost-winning strategy. This is the key to PvE raids: you try something, it sort of works, and you keep working on it. In pet battles, you find 1 pet that's good, then you find a 2nd, then you experiment with the 3rd. The current CST forces you to start over with 3 completely new pets if you fail. So whatever progress you made is lost. That in turn causes less-serious pet battlers to say F it and quit. It pushes people away from pet battles, and that's the last thing we need.
CST was a great idea and a nice addition for the serious pet battlers, but I think it's been actively harmful for less-serious battlers and for pet battles overall.