I've generally played pyro with 60-100 ping online and can confirm that playing it at FITES lan once really hammered home how much better low ping is. Felt like I didn't need my secondaries near as much because flames actually worked. Can only imagine what it's like now.
Anyway, pyro blows now. I didn't get to try it in highlander until december but very quickly decided it wasn't for me anymore. They completely destroyed the small amount of skill and finesse you had to have with the class to the point that I don't understand how anyone who played it before could find it enjoyable now.
I don't really like the airblast changes either and I think it's going under-the-radar how bad it is simply because the flamethrowers are even worse right now. Old airblast behavior was fine, especially post tough-break. They should have just made it harder to "hit" someone with it. I even vastly preferred going up against pyros who were m2-happy with the old airblast because I had at least developed the muscle-memory to correct my aim when airblasted and do a minimal air-strafe to throw theirs off a bit. Now it's a crapshoot whether I'm going to get groundstalled, fly/slide across the map, or have nothing happen to me at all. There were some annoyances sure but nothing compared to how the class is now.
They fucked it up bad and sadly the best thing they could do would just be to revert it at this point.