I tried out playing a neutral paladin with Light influence. It's fun this far and challenging since I'm lacking armor like nothing else. Thanks to sacred armor I have a method to refill my life orb and get some more defense though, so in extreme cases I can survive more easily with that (for example terror act 1 those sasquaches right ahead of andy. The first time I went there, I was killed instantly thanks to perma stun, but afterwards I survived since I casted sacred armor before I engaged them.
Anyway, I'm at a point now, where I can finally get buff duration bonus and what makes me sad is how many buffs aren't affected by it, which is something I don't understand. Sacred armor, Superbeast (yes I know. It has a duration of 600 seconds as well) and Vindicate for example. 3 Buffs that aren't affected by buff duration bonus. WTF.
Instead, it buffs the duration of skills like Vessel of retribution and rapture which is stupid. Vessel has a duration of over 1000 seconds already. Why would I ever need to buff that further? Same goes for rapture. With 20% Buff duration added, it has a duration of 443 seconds. Why would I ever need to buff this?
Sacred armor is basically the only option to get some decent defense for me now. (I have bear stance and get to 50 k thanks to that. 100 k with activated sacred armor) I planned keeping sacred armor permanently on in lategame, but that just won't work since it's not affected by buff duration. I'm in act 4 terror atm and it works well, but I'm afraid I can scrap this char now since I know, that I won't be able to keep my defense up all the time and walk around with low defense in most areas, making me complete cannon fodder.
The way I see it, Sacred armor is now without a doubt a bad option in general. I mean yes, you get flat defense, which increases defense by an insane amount if you play holy or unholy pala and have access to some good TCD bonus. But for a neutral light influence pala it's merely a better potion in early game and will continue to be just that in lategame.
Imho sacred armor should be affected by buff duration. But at the same time you can lower the base duration to a point where you can still reach the 16 seconds (or 17 seconds) of the CD with maxing the skill and with dedicated gear. (That means with for example 200% buff duration. That would require you to put 20 Nih runes in your gear or 17 Nih runes and both rings and your amulet to be fully orbed.)
That would require holy/unholy paladins to scrap some offense to get more defense, but at the same time free up a whole new build.
Concerning holy/unholy palas... I can understand if you say "We don't want Paladins in general to be buffed even further by allowing sacred armor to be on 100% of the time." but look at it like this:
An unholy melee pala with maxed Terror Strike and Tainted blood can reach around 500 k defense with decent gear, maybe even a little more (not counting bear stance in).
Any barb however can get to 1 million defense easily just by putting points into runemaster while having some points in Bear stance and Spirit Guide. And barb doesn't need buff duration.
So either fix barb or adjust pala.
Btw: I don't know if it's a bug, but when I killed aoiqiuasf sadfouh in act 4 chaos sanctuary (the one who spawns from the seal in the middle) I activated Sacred armor, killed him, but sacred armor didn't replenish my life despite the fact that the skill was on cooldown and the animation was turned on. Since I don't know if this guy negates all healing, I though I'd mention it here.