The original witch was was full with witch's references. Everything give you a witch type idea, I always thought it was meant to inspire you create a specific character, like:.
* The ability to attack with the hair remind you of Oriental movies type of witch like <i>the grudge</i>.
* The crackle ability was meant to inspire you to go for a more Hollywood kind of witch
* The fly ability that made you float over water was a reference to witches hunted by the church
* The heal hex ability was meant to allow you to create a misunderstood witch, a witch seems as bad but in truth it a healer
I think Paizo is choosing crackle as a class ability because it is too strong to be a low level feat, it is choosing mathematical reasons over RolePlay ones.
The same goes with the hair attack, it was meant to be a character defining feature, an ability used most of the time but it would be too good for that feat slot and now it seems more inspired in Entrapta (from she ha) than the grudge.
Also patron could be a good mechanic for a Sabrina (the new one) inspired witch but without a more detailed mechanic about fighting against you patron, GMs will feel it's better not to use it at all as they don't know if players will rebel against their patrons or not.
I think Paizo should take a more role play view of the witch.
In my opinion: crackle should be optional, hair attack should make playing with the character more similar to witches portraited in Oriental movies, Patrons should be optional and need to have a Rebelion mechanic.
What do you think?