I disagree. I think that 16 v 16 will be perfect for Sandstorm because playing push in Insurgency Source with 32 players in a server was very hectic with the small map sizes. With larger maps being added in Sandstorm, it should slow the pace down a bit and allow for more tactical combat. I feel that Insurgency Source's small map sizes led to more COD-like run and gun playstyles (heck, I run around with a Makarov half the time). Larger maps with the same player count should cause more caution when playing. However, we won't know until we get our hands on it.
I'm guessing that you're referring to LevelCap's recent video? If so, I thought the same but the thought occurred to me that "It's LevelCap, I bet he's pretty darn good at controlling recoil," and sure enough I think that's the case here. I looked at some of his old videos on Source Insurgency and it appeared that he controlled the recoil on a full-auto M4 about the same as it was in his recent gameplay. However, I just looked it over and he was actually on single fire when he was using the M4. The MP7 he used had low recoil but the MP5 was the same way. I don't really think they turned down the recoil, or if they did it was extremely minimal. The only real way to tell will be when we play it ourselves.
The good news is that most of this is all possible. NWI doesn't have to worry about any of this besides the actual systems (the lasers, optics, grenade launchers, etc), and, like in insurgency currently, the modding/workshop community will take it from there with new models, skins, etc. NWI just needs to focus on getting everything set up for release and community modders will do the rest after release.
I highly doubt there will be any 3rd Person POV since that goes directly against any aspect of realism in this game. After all, the game is built on a realistic risk-reward system, you have to risk poking your head out and getting shot in order to gain any knowledge on enemy positions. Now I haven't heard of the SOCOM mod, but I'll assume it's a mod for insurgency; if so, then I guess you have at least some hope from the community for a mod.