I have problems with the combat art range and bosses, the arts requiring me to be inside the bosses to hit them and then the bosses willl just immediately backpedal because im too close. Theres an issue where when many monsters bunch up and I try to target one thats near the middle my char will just run circles around the small horde because he cant attack that specific unit. These are just my little nit picks I know so I am gonna try building a ranged char.
I'm gonna have to blame that on the game design. Every combat art has a "fight distance" parameter. Increasing it works great for spells, I can increase the range as far as you like. I tried and tried to increase the fight distance for melee combat arts, but it doesn't work. They seem hard-coded to require you to be standing directly on top of an enemy.
I also was not fond of how long the barbarians skill animations were(the anims look great, especially whirlwind) compared to how fast I want to be firing off skills. I am still used to my old dryad with .5 sec or lower cd, while the barbs melee animations generall take 1.5 sec or more to fire off.
These don't seem so bad to me. Everything is slow at first, with long regeneration times. That's the essence of leveling up a character in Sacred really, is increasing execution speed and decreasing regeneration time. Maybe the instant hit of blowpipes has spoiled you.
That being said, you can easily just swap in the Ranged Weapons skill in place of Dual Wielding or Hafted Weapons and focus on Dexterity and that Barbarian build will still work great. Using a bow or throwing weapons will translate fine to those combat arts.