Did you hear that was their goal from an official source? Elementalist was doing well enough that even with the nerfs, they're probably still as good or better than many other DPS builds. Plus, it doesn't sound like Arenanet to want to completely remove something from the meta unless it's a play style that they do not want in the game at all. I think they want all classes to be useful in as many areas of the game as possible.
It's a direct quote from one of the developer sessions I had, but entirely removing it does indeed seem like slip. When I pressed the dev on it, he/she came closer to what is in the patch notes.