How many healers do you need for a ten-man raid? Some will say two, some will say three, some will say it depends on the fight. There are certainly a lot of different factors to consider, such as raid composition, everyone's gear, skill, your healers' confidence and familiarity with the fight... so there's no single answer to that question that is right for everyone.
From what I've seen on a lot of healing blogs, most ten-man raids seem to prefer having three healers a lot of the time. That's their choice and as I said there's nothing wrong with it, but one thing that bugs me is that this choice often seems to accompanied by a strong disdain for people wanting to two-heal raids and I don't quite understand why.
My own ten-man group just runs with two healers most of the time as per my own request, and for two reasons:
1. I like to have something to do. I touched on this before in my post about heroic Northrend Beasts, saying that to make healing fun, it needs to be balanced somewhere between the unpleasant extremes of being bored because you have nothing to do, and having to spam like crazy with little room for anything else. And for me personally, I've found that in ten-man raids having three healers quickly leads to boredom, or at least to pathetic attempts at heal sniping as I try to keep myself busy even if technically there isn't anything to do. There are exceptions to this of course, but as a rule of thumb I found it to be true.
2. In most fights it's simply the nature of the beast that you only want to bring as few tanks and healers as possible, because the main focus of most fights is to maximise your dps and kill things as quickly as possible. So once I know that we can do it with two healers... why bring more? Having fewer healers makes the raid faster and more efficient. I don't see that as any different from trying to optimise it in other ways, such as asking everyone to use flasks and to not go for a bio break every five minutes.
And yet I keep seeing these remarks that call people elitist jerks if they suggest that a fight could be done with just two healers instead of three. I just don't get it! I mean, I'm not saying you have to agree with the suggestion because as I explained above, there are good reasons to want to use three healers, but I resent the implication that simply wanting to have a fun and swift raid is somehow a sign of elitism.
So why is this? Are healers afraid of being pushed to their limits since they already have enough pressure on them simply by being responsible for life and death? Or is advocating fewer healers against some kind of secret code that I'm not aware of, perceived as putting "third healers" out of business?