i will agree that hatred didn't need the nerfing into the ground it got, but imo gear checks are much better if they're used on act transitions akin to how act 2 is a gear check for your resistances
act 4 is very elemental damage heavy but i feel that the second half of act 3 is so close to a defense check that it might as well go all the way -- the city of kurast is jam packed with shit thats sole purpose is to slow you down and beat the pulp out of you, and the durance of hate's final level has two sub bosses that you need reasonable defense for (since one has a melee only aura and the other will stunlock you)
you don't really need good defense for TA anyways, as long as you know how to micro/kite effectively and have a decent AoE source of damage you're likely able to handle everyone that isn't a priestess. again, it's a bummer to be railroaded into the same area over and over again because the rest of the game is balanced around having completed a supposed 'challenge'
having micro skills is player dependent and having a good, reliable AoE you can cast from a distance that's strong enough early in the game to clear TA is build-dependent, though, and that's where we run into what im griping about: builds that are otherwise fine being rendered something you have to belladonna into because you can't clear TA with them