|Eled the Worm Tamer|
DRUID, make the gnome favored class be a druid.Just look at the flavor text of the gnome, it suggests strong ties to nature (and adapting it through Alchemy) and the Fey.
I know that they've long been associated with Illusionist classes, but really a Druid would fit better. It certainly fits better than a Bard.
As druids, they just seem to fit better with their Fey-like nature. Wild Shaping, summoning nature's allies and even their weapon selection seem to fit with gnomish qualities like Keen senses, boosting their land speed and their racial hatreds and defensive trainings (you know, because giants, goblins and reptillian humanoids aren't really nature friendly).
Or at the very least, give the gnome have to favored classes -- Druid and Bard to appeal to the two main drives of the Pathfinder race.
But what about their passion for devices? That's not very Nature-y or very Bardish. I think that's what tripped WotC up with building the Gnome for 4e. That's an aspect more appropriate for Dwarves, if you ask me.
Agreed, and Gnomes, via those alchemical leanings and ability to adapt nature while sharing its strengths brings new flavor to Druids, a more pragmatic, scholarly aspect that might bring players who had ignored the class back to it.
Why not have mechanically minded Druids? why not have them plan great feats of engenearing to make feilds more fruitfull around gnomish setelments and so reduce the impact upon the wilds.