Halflingbove, you keep talking about the mitigation on the shields....I've only ever seen 1 shield that actually had mitigation on it, and thats a tower shield for the quest, from the grizzle fizzle guy. It has +6? vs slashing, crushing, and/or piercing. If I could find a really nice buckler with stats I need, and actual mitigation on it, to sort of make up for the protection loss (or shield factor, which basically is avoidance), then I may consider the stamina line. Until then, I think for the plate class, that tanks most often, should go for mitigation over avoidance.