After playing with a Skald for some time, I want to point out a couple of things people might not be aware of:
1: Beast Totem natural armor bonus stacks with natural armor bonus from Barkskin/Amulet of Natural Armor, and with bonuses from stuff like Righteous Might/Frightful Aspect/Dragonkind:
I haven’t found anything this doesn’t stack with, so it is basically just a bonus on top of everything.
2: Inspired Rage bonus to melee attack and damage rolls in untyped, meaning it stacks with everything. It especially stacks with Lethal Stance (compentence bonus) handed out by the very same Skald for a double bonus from the same character.
Inspired Rage counts only for melee, but Lethal Stance counts for melee and throwing. I tend to make my Skald an axe thrower for this reason.
Result: a 20 level Skald, with the Beast Totem line and the Lethal Stance line, hands out:
a) +6 natural armor bonus that stacks with everything I know of. On the other hand -1 from Inspired Rage.
b) +3 untyped attack/damage bonus for melee.
c) +6 competence bonus for melee and thrown.
d) +6 to Will saving throws.
e) a grab bag of extra powers like Pounce for everyone, +6 critical hit confirmation, an extra secondary bite attack that also seems to stack with everything (with Animal Fury), and finally a higher crit multiplier for melee and thrown. The auto-pounce is a nice way of making full attacks during the surprise round, for example.
Looking at this, I’d say the only reason for taking a Bard over this is if you want your competence bonus to apply to bows/crossbows and ranged touch attacks. Having that power active is almost like changing the difficulty one step down. And I always thought Guarded Hearth was the strongest buff there is.