I want to start this off by saying that I really do love Gears 2 Multiplayer. Unlike a lot of people I have read online, I think it is a blast and the second title update did patch up a huge amount of issues.
Yet the biggest issue of all is still out there: quitters.
Whether the players drop from connection issues or because they cant stand the 1) Map or game type or 2) Loosing period -- it doesn't matter to me.
What does matter is that in a game like Gears 2, every individual counts and losing 1-2 people spells the end of the game. Period. And everyone knows it. And so starts the cycle of everyone quitting once one person drops.
Maybe its too late to change it - but there has to be some way to bring players in mid-game to replace quitters. Because no matter how much you "penalize" players, they will not stop quitting. Especially with a 5 tier ranking system - players dont see or feel the weight of a quit - so they simply dont stop.
Forget all the weapon balancing issues -- Yes, I know they are important and they affect a lot -- but the simple knowledge that when you enter a game you will play a somewhat balanced game with a full compliment of players, that matters so much more.
I hope someone is reading this -- because this game could be so awesome if we could just get this straightened out.