I think this is an outstanding change, especially the part where they issue you a set of spec-defining abilities as soon as you "graduate" at level 10. No more auto-attack levelling, or having the way you play your spec be completely different once you get some Magic Ability at level 40 or 60 or 75 or whatever (assuming it gets implemented properly, which remains to be seen).
The early concerns seem to be that it will force you into a cookie-cutter spec where you end up taking all the talents in one tree in order to make your mandatory 31 points, but I don't think that will be the case at all. They said we were looking at roughly 20 talents per tree, and I imagine that 2-3 point talents will be the norm rather than 5 point talent sinks, so that's 50 points of talents and only 31 points to spend.
They could screw it up royally and put in a lot of talents that are only good for levelling, or PvP, or talents that are just bad, or they could have a talents that are so good you'd be a fool not to take them, but if they put just a few mandatory talents in and then roll the required talents into the standard bonus for the tree, I can see a lot of room for personal preference.