As for fighters and their skill points. I think that their list of class skills is certainly up to debate, but the number of points they receive is probably pretty set. Unlike many of the other classes, the fighters skills did not go through much change, meaning that the 3.5 fighter's skills need next to no conversion. Bumping them to 4 would also be out of line with all the other classes that get 2. At this point, I prefer the skill diversity between the classes (in terms of the number of points) and would prefer to keep the current values (especially considering these are so easy to houserule up, but not to go down).
I think most people are advocating all classes getting a minimum of 4 skill points across the board, not just the fighter. I don't think raising the fighter, wizard, cleric, etc. to 4 skill points per level will really hurt class diversity all that much--the classes who are supposed to be the skill masters (rogue, bard, ranger) will still have more skill points than the others. Meanwhile, it doesn't make much sense that the barbarian gets twice as many skill points as the fighter and paladin or that the druid gets twice as many as the cleric and wizard. And as for concerns about backwards compatibility, I don't see it. Making sweeping changes to class abilities, the skill system, combat maneuvers, etc. is fine, but giving some class more skill points is not? I'm not trying to be snide, I honestly don't see the argument. So please consider this one more vote for 4 skill points.
I'm not a fan of the rage point system. D&D already requires a lot of bookkeeping, so how does it help to add more fiddly bits--particularly to the "Conan SMASH" class? Keeping track of rage points might not be so bad for a player who only has to manage 1 character, but more math is not a DM's friend if he wants to use multiple NPC barbarians. I think it's better to try to keep things as simple as possible rather than over-complicating them--such as what Pathfinder has done with the skill system, combat maneuvers, etc.
I'm not sure about rage feats--since rage powers are class-specific, it seems to make more sense to leave them as class abilities than create a whole group of class-specific feats. I'd rather see rage powers handled more like rogue talents, which seems easy to understand and manage. Make it so that the barbarian can only use 1 rage power per round, and perhaps some of the more powerful powers are also limited to X times per day.
I really like the change of half-elves gaining skill focus rather than a class skill. Nice change.
However, I'm still of the belief that giving humans a free martial weapon proficiency is a bad idea. I've never had an issue with human characters being underpowered. And it skews one of the tropes of D&D -- now *all* human wizards can have swords, druids can have greatswords, monks can have battleaxes, and so on.
I would still strongly recommend the weapon training skill be removed from humans.
Why is it unbalancing to have a human wizard/druid/monk/etc. with a sword/axe/etc. but not unbalancing to have an elven wizard/druid/monk/etc. with a longsword or longbow or a dwarven wizard/druid/monk/etc. with a battleaxe or warhammer? As someone else pointed out on this thread, racial martial weapon proficiencies are hardly unbalancing since several classes already get all martial weapon proficiencies. And I doubt players choose to play humans because of the weapon proficiency--they're far more interested in the +2 to any ability, bonus feat, and/or bonus skill points.
Speaking of the +2 to any stat, I for one would prefer it to stay that way instead of a +1 to any 2 stats. As far as I am aware, all races in 3.5 get even-numbered bonuses and/or penalties to their stats. This way, the bonus/penalty will always have an immediate effect on the ability modifiers in question--whereas an odd-numbered bonus/penalty will only have an effect if the stat is odd-numbered.
The only problem I see is that this creates a situation where 3 races (dwarves, half-orcs, and halflings) have Wisdom as a bonus stat, and only 2 (elves and gnomes) have the other mental stats.
I wonder how much of this is hesitation over the whole +2/+2/-2 system (and having to make one a mental stat) and Wisdom just seems like the "safe" mental score.
I'd rather see halflings or gnomes get +2 Int.
I agree that having 3 races with Wis (or any other stat) is too much and that either halflings or gnomes should get +2 Int instead. I'm leaning towards changing gnome to +2 Int and leave halflings as is. If you give halflings +2 Int, now they become too much like elves. Whereas if you give gnomes +2 Int and change their favored classes to bard and wizard, you can go for gnome illusionist. Halfling favored classes should then be rogue and sorcerer.
My vote would be for halfling war sling or halfling finger darts. Both fit in with the halflings' traditional prowess with slings and thrown weapons and are easily concealable. Atlatls and blowguns are very neat (and it would be cool to have stats for an atlatl), but they don't feel particularly halfling. We could also include the halfling skip rock, since the war sling and skip rock don't actually have "halfling" in their name in Races of the Wild.
BTW, can we also give the halfling, half-elf, and gnome some racial martial weapon proficiencies? Elves get 4 (longsword, rapier, longbow, shortbow), dwarves get 3 (battleaxe, hammer, heavy pick), half-orcs get 2 (falchion, greataxe), and humans get their choice of 1. Meanwhile, halflings get a measly simple weapon proficiency--that every class but wizard has automatically--and gnomes and half-elves get nothing.