I, for one, love my Mini (currently level 59 and leveling fast). She is extremely versatile, survivable, and can storm through pretty much any content. She has really good DPS when running in War-speech (rivaling my Hunter main) and can heal very nicely in either Harmony or Melody stance depending on the needs of the group. I may well end up playing her more often than my hunter once I get her to cap, she's such a blast to play.
Oh - and ballads do actually have effects other than setting up other skills. Minor ballads have some damage and damage buffs, Perfect ballads buff power costs (and a bit of tactical skills), and Major ballads buff healing. So ideally you match your ballads with your stance and what you're trying to accomplish.
Galadhloth, Hunter 100, Glirithil, Mini 100, Calanor, LM 100, plus lots and lots of alts
Watchers of Elendil ~ Landroval ~ Crickhollow ~ Tarciryan Knights
~~~~ Imladris in the Forgotten West ~~~~