We understand that it's frustrating to see a preferred build undergo a nerf, nuking as a style has not gone away. Those who love the build have not been left with no comparable alternative. Far from it, it remains the most popular playstyle by far in terms of community recommendations, second only to the somewhat recent surge in popularity for the backlash style.
In addition, creating an alternative to Chieftain's Ironthorn would reintroduce the majority of the problem that the original item posed. Not only would there be no penalties that could not be trivialized by other gear, but some would even be a net gain to specific builds. The resulting item would break design standards for shields, exceed the value of any reasonable amounts of MC for one, retroactively invalidate spell-like skills (Including much of Paladin) and once again make it so that no other shield is worth using. Inventory diversity would objectively suffering by virtue of the extreme advantage weapon-based old lean skills would have over everything else. In short, there is a long list of reasons why such a shield should never be introduced.
During the discussion thread made about the initial change, it was explained that the single player nature of the game does not create an exception to the importance of balance. The choices one player makes do not impact the experiences of another, but development choices have an impact beyond what a single specific player will directly experience. The full explanation given at the time was as follows:
The single player nature of the game does not remove the importance of balance. That the gameplay choices of any given player do not directly impact the gameplay experiences of others does not alter the fact that development choices affect the experience of all players. Consistent balance is essential to the continuation of the game, for reasons including, but far from limited to:
The value of all player experiences. Arbitrary choices and exceptions made for the sake of the preferences of a few detract from the experiences of the others and curtail future development.
The integrity of our word as developers. Contradictory standards and arbitrary exceptions invalidate all reasons we may give for future adjustments. Players could (And rightly, one might add) point at any decisions we take and consider them moot on the grounds of inconsistency with other arbitrary choices. Balance is not something one takes piecemeal, especially only where it's easy or non-controversial to implement.
The range of possibilities for future development. The existence of overpowered items inherently curtails the development of all future items that may be measured against them. In contrast, underpowered items are inherently unsatisfying, especially when not every individual item can be so elaborate as to have appeal beyond its primary use. %melee costs for effects increase the more than an item has going for it, making hedging the value of items that would measure up to arbitrary exceptions an exercise in spending additional effort for something that players are likely to be turned away by the drawbacks of.
Consider this last reason in particular, even though CiT exemplified all of these problems. This item was beyond unbalanced since its inception, and extremely overtuned by current standards. It warped the balance so badly that armor and weapon design were impacted by it. Any modern items that might compete with it would be obsolete on deployment if it remained - Given the feeling of an underpowered item by the presence of this single sore thumb. Especially with Paladin about to deploy, it could not be allowed to continue curtailing future ideas.
While we understand the frustration of combat slowing down, we have accounted for the ripple effects and have already planned future items that will address any build identity issues that this change only leaves half-fixed. The rebalancing of CIT, however, will not be reverted.