Things have improved some. A couple patches have added a server browser, so if people want to run private servers they can. It seems like a lot of people are still using the random matchmaking, though. It sucks to be in a really exciting part of the game and have the server admin kick everyone or have the server shut down with no warning. And verifying my cache files seems to have gotten rid of the purple checkerboards.
I'm still not sure about my purchase. The best part of it is playing with good players from the PA boards. But that was also the best part of playing Hellgate: London, which most people say is a horrible game. I probably should have stuck to TF2.
Still. It beats looking for work. :P