One thing I didn't see mentioned is the lack of trait and skill synergies.
Going through warrior or guardian forum there is always somerhing going on in terms of builds and synergies and stuff.
Thief traits on the other hand are pretty boring. They aren't even bad they just stand for themselves, even the rather interesting ones like Hidden Killer.
As much as I like initiative but the class probably would have been better of with cooldowns (from a design point of view) and stealth as a 15 Second CD - stealth for 3 seconds. They even could've kept steal as our second class mechanic.
Initiative is here to stay. It's not the problem.
The 'problem' is lack of support, game glitches ("permastealth") and lack of offensive/ defensive synergy as you say.
I agree with you also that traits need looking at, as this could fix a lot of the issues.
In fact, it's not really that the class actually has a major issue. It just happens to have more fine-tuning left to do than other classes, and recent attempts to do this have actually exposed these issues more fully. Those 'nerfs' may prove to be a blessing in disguise.
I just hope A-net do something good with this.
That's probably their intention, but it will just break down into another whining thread. You can see it alread, every other post is along the lines of "I main thief in WvW and omg OP nerf this nerf that" etc. Like every other 'class feedback thread' made on the official forums of every MMO ever made.
It did break down, but those forums always do. I think A-net's mods are used to it by now judging by their reactions. I have faith that they will identify common issues popping up (like "permastealth") and handle them appropriately.