full BAB, decent HD
Samurai has the same BAB and a better HD. It does however lack the decent class features part but I never really felt that it deserved to be ranked so low. Sure its class features pretty much amount to exotic weapon proficiency, quick draw, improved initiative and a crappy version of two weapon fighting but it isn't warrior bad by any means
Funny, I just was talking about this with someone else. The thing I find with the overall strength of classes is both their strength in combat and out of combat. If one compares Fighter with Ranger, ranger is generally inferior in combat what with being locked into one of two fighting styles, not having feats to burn, and only being effective against certain types. On the other hand, out of combat fighters are pretty useless while rangers have a bevy of things they can do using their class features.
Compare that to a Samurai, and it becomes either a Fighter without feats, or a Ranger without utility. Either way, it neither excels at one of the two tasks nor is able to perform both tasks well.
And to stay on topic.... I'm split between druid and samurai. I have actually attempted to optimize samurai and I can say my options were limited at best. Basically I made a pretty good intimidator out of it, but it was probably done with any other class, most of its power coming from race and feat choices. I think the problem is that the samurai really doesn't have any class features to speak of. The ones it does have are all done better by every other class out there. Even monks at least have something new and unique or rare (flurry, SR, unarmed strike, something). A gimped TWF isn't enough.