This does go way back on these boards and I will not exhaust myself again by going through another debate about the issue. (Let’s just say I was not pro bluff/feint resulting in a DV of 10 and allowing both finesse/sneak attacks.)
Here are some suggestions if the whole feinting issue is subtracting from your game’s combat sessions, and/or if you would rather not have your non-combat/stealth types "balance out" in melee with your true warriors:
1 – Simply remove the feint maneuver (and related feats) from your game. This allows the fighting classes to maintain the upper hand in face to face combat and challenges the sneak attacking classes to be more stealthy in their activities and tactics. Should they desire to fight better face to face, then encourage them to multi-class as a fighting type (for better BAB, HP, DR and Fort saves).
The DV10 is harsh, but so is the double bonus to damage from Power Attack with two handed weapons which already do two dice of damage, and that despite the penalty to attack, and not to mention if they get to confirm a crit. If they hit: boom. So it is with feint and sneak attack. If you pull the feint: at last!
2 – As an alternative (following the standard set in Spycraft 2), have the feint be based on a Sleight of Hand skill check and opposed by a Spot check. Many gamers playing soldier class characters would rather spend the few precious skill points they do receive trying to increase or gain ranks in the Spot skill rather than Sense Motive anyway.
Someone mentioned that buffing up sense motive was a hack, and it might be, but characters with a good sense of self preservation will always spend good points on the skill, as well as spot and others. Not that I like that since I play thieves most often than not, but if fighter types have fewer skill points to buy ranks, it is because they get to improve a lot more on combat skills than rogue types, and that lots of skill points is precisely one of the strenghts of rogues.
4 – Make more use the Fighting Defensively and Total Defense stances in combination with Bluffing circumstance modifiers. Using the Bluff circumstances modifiers, allow someone that is fighting defensively to gain a +5 bonus to their Sense Motive check due to a more cautious fighter thinking “The bluff is a little hard to believe or puts the target at some risk” --- and allow someone using total defense to gain a +10 bonus to their Sense Motive check due to them being extra careful and thinking “The bluff is hard to believe or puts the target at significant risk”. If they’ve been hit with a feint already in this combat and/or know their opponent’s fighting style well, then boost the bonus up a notch to +10/+20 (also from the chart). Making use of these modifiers for cautious and defensive fighters makes as much sense to me as players arguing that the Persuasive feat makes them better at melee and sneak attacking.
Anyway – I hope some of these suggestions are helpful should you desire something different from the rules as they are written.
I think a bonus to sense motive checks when fighting defensively or total defending is a reasonable rule, but +5 and +10 (and +10/+20) to sense motive checks seem way to much IMO, specially when the bonus to DV granted by such tactics is only +2 and +4.
Hyboria's Finest already has a rule for soldiers called Reading an Opponent, that could grant you a bonus to sense motive to oppose feints. It is basically a Sense motive check modified by the soldier's BAB. He spends a full round observing a foe in combat, and he can defend normaly. This is the only action he can make that round. The DC of the check is the opponent's level or HD. For every 5 points by which he beats the DC, he can add 1 to any one of the following: attack rolls, damage rolls, parry or dodge defence, saving throws and skill checks, againts that single opponent. So for soldiers, the better their sense motives, the better the bonuses they can gain form this ability.