Hah! Told you I'd write it. I always keep my promises (if I remember them...).
I found the list I had made with my top 5 favorite healing skills (which I had written exactly three months ago today). But I realized that I'd really have to define "best" before I carry on any futher. I don't prefer these heals because they're the best heal in every situation. Most heals out there are good, in their special niche. Some are even the best. But, some niches are less valuable to fill. So this should be seen more as a list of the heals I'd bring to a desert island. If I could create my own hybrid healer, with heals from any other heal class, which 5 would it have? This is my answer;
5. Instant heals with cd such as Nature's Swiftness and Guardian Spirit.
Although their area of use is limited, when you need them you're damn happy you've got them. Interestingly enough I just realized that although NS and GS share the same cooldown (and glyphed and unprocced GS only has 1 min cd) I use NS far more often than GS. I always seem to want to save GS for that very special moment, which is silly of course. Have that "OH SHIT!"-button is crucial and something I'd really miss if I didn't (and the rest of my party too when the shit hits the fan)
4. Prayer of Mending
I love it. Definitely one of my favorite heals over the board. And hey that's one of the reasons it made the list! But it aint all up there because it is slightly unreliable. However, if you always start it out on the tank it will always have made it worth your mana. To me it costs less than a Flash Heal and heals as much as one on one single jump, making it extremely mana efficient. The best thing about it is that it works its magic while you do other things, which also makes it possible for you to get spamprocs of Surge of Light in tough situations (if you're holy) - just when you need em. So it's not better than Chain Heal, Circle of Healing or Wild Growth, the healing spells that are most similar, but differs in this very important aspect. It heals where it is needed (most of the time), and all the while you can heal something else.
3. Earth Shield
Maybe alot of people would put another heal this far up the list, but I just have to put it here because of its comfiness. It's one of the few "set and forget" heals, and makes such things as instance healing ridiculously easy. Place this at the tank at start - take nap - reap the rewards. When raiding it's also nice to know there is something doing the tank healing while you're off healing other people. How good wouldn't it be if you could have this on everyone in the raid? Completely awesome, that's how good.
Although not so exciting or special, it really is one of the best healing spells in the game. Few spells come close in mana efficiency and hps capabilities than Rejuvenation. Renew is far behind. It's so good it almost makes healing boring ^^ And also one of the prime reasons alot of druids out there boast their abilities to solo heal alot of raid instances. Definitely not impossible when you've got this kind of spell in your pocket.
1. Power Word: Shield
So, there you have it. The heal I like the most, or would prefer over having any other heal, is not really a heal at all. And that is also the reason I like it the most! I think I wrote in some other post a long time ago that damage reduction is really the most efficient way to heal anything. It prevents the damage from actually happening, and thus reducing the amount that needs to be healed, or said in another way, the amount of hp the target has. This is also known as effective health. PWS is unique in its way of healing (Sacred Shield is similar, but not really close). If you use it properly its also the most effective way of healing since it "heals" for the exact amount of damage that you're being struck for = no overheal, and instantly! For being a heal that mimics the concept of damage prevention rather than "fixing once it's broken", I put PWS as my number one heal.
Poor paladins, didn't make the list... Not because they don't have good heals, but because their heals aren't special or interesting. Agree/disagree with me? Let's hear it!