I really like the idea of guards having a completely different loadout/equipment system to thieves, whereby they accrue money to spend. However, it also creates so many unknowns in terms of balance and the resulting game-play. It seems like it would be great for immersion, role-playing a medieval guard, but its questionable whether it would be suitable for competative enjoyment (after everything comes out in the wash).
Can't be too heavy-handed with rushing, and much of it has to do with the design of particular maps (i.e. certain thief spawn points, and certain objectives that are much easier to achieve by rushing than having to deal with a camp).
While to a certain extent our aim is to create a certain play-style - one of stealth, one of skill, one of cunning, misdirection, trickery, tactics and teamwork (all the good stuff) we can't limit the legitimate options a player can take without making the game feel constricting.
However, in balancing the game we need to consider those tactics that are less skillful and overly effective. Rushing tends to be lumped in this category, but I don't see it as a problem that cannot be addressed by a few changes to equipment that make rushing HARDER, RISKIER and more SKILLFUL to execute.
Crack arrows - the cloud lasts too long, allows a rusher to partion-off large crucial areas of the map, the most famous example being the Upper West Wing on Grange.
Speed potions - imo the use of this item should be as a counter to para, and an escape mechanism. These uses can be achieved with a lesser and more nuanced effect (i.e. clearing para effect, and a shorter duration)
Flashbombs - in standard TUT they can blind a guard for up to 15 seconds, which is a huge. In promod, the length was reduced but made more reliable. However, I feel that the duration could be reduced further (subject to testing).
On the 'necessity of rushing':
Players of intermediate skill may feel forced to rush against good guarding teams because it is their best and only opportunity to achieve something before the map is completely locked-down and thier team is slowly ground into the floor. However, if stealthy infiltration is a more viable option (and I believe current changes have helped greatly) then this becomes a plausible option.
Rushing should remain an option, but it should be of comparable difficulty, and require cunning, misdirection, nuance, and less pre-mediatation.