Every ability has its drawbacks, and I believe this is actually called 'smart balancing'.
You can overcome it by using several movement skills. I liked using Flicker Strike together with my Whirling Blades: if I get stopped by a ledge or a rock, I flicker to a nearby monster and get on with the Whirling Blades.
If you are looking for a skill that will take you across a ledge, you need Leap Slam, Lightning Warp or Flame Dash. Leap Slam is STR-aligned (take it for your Marauder), Lightning Warp and Flame Dash are INT-aligned (go well for your Witch). Each one has its drawbacks, though: Lightning Warp has an extremely slow windup animation, Leap Slam is a melee attack that requires an axe, a staff, a sword or a mace, and Flame Dash has 3 uses and a three-second cooldown.
As a Shadow, you may be fine using Whirling Blades as a primary movement skill and Flame Dash to help you cross obstacles.
I believe all movement skills are somewhat limited in their range. Nothing will get you to the other side of the map in a split second.
Also, don't miss Smoke Mine and Blink Arrow if you play as a ranged character. Smoke Mine is particularly useful to set up before you open a strongbox.