I had trouble with Holy Smite in large areas because if the enemy was moving quickly they seemed to move out of the target area before spell going off and being affected by it. Not sure if they are always affected until I see them react to blindness. Great info on how it affects reflex saves when blinded. However, in large areas enemies might just go sulk in a corner blinded rather than kite in your blade barrier. I will have to try this out more. I almost want to switch back to light.
I like Neg Burst so far. I see what you mean with it's tactical disadvantages being a short range attack. It is just so dam cheap for 200 damage average area of effect for 7-13sp. Much cheaper that BB to use. If you use it while having a BB up and standing in it even if your BB does not hit this will. I think Neg energy burst will heal your fellow party Pale Master's too?
I am still enjoying the negative line. I love my Necrotic Ray and have trouble giving that up. Nice range attack especially for those ranged piking mobs. Guaranteed negative level for 10 sp is cheap. Cheap damage with no metas.
Also my DCs and SR on my Generalists are not exceptional, so the less saves and spell resistance from my stuff the better. He tends to be in the melee Epic Destiny lines unless Raid healing EE. No crazy grind gear either.