Although i love both games, i must say that i do miss the customization from BFGA 1. The customization in BFGA 1 allowed you to make many weird fleets, and kept the replay-ability of multiplayer quite high. Granted, there were a few balance issues but there was nothing that couldn't have been easily fixed. Persistent did have issues with Experienced players also having better stuff and stomping newbies, but again this could have been fixed by just giving everyone all upgrades at the start and having ship level more of a cosmetic thing. (possibly unlocking skins/colours)
BFGA 2's customization is quite sad. The game has more ships and factions to make up for this, but it is pretty boring just taking the exact same 2 skills and 2 upgrades over and over. This is partly why i dislike 1v1 in BFGA 2, it's just so damn repetitive. Same upgrade, same skills and same fleet. The upgrades in BFGA 1 allowed you to make some really weird and wacky fleet compositions work, however in BFGA 2 you usually just get smashed whenever you don't follow the meta due to the amount of ships that are on the field and the fact that you only get 2 slots for skills and upgrades, so you can't really mix Meta and off-meta skills/upgrades together create something usable. You always have to go for the Meta option.
I agree. I blame unlimited ship selection.
As for single player, I enjoyed BFGA1 campaign more than BFGA2. I played the first 3 times, while for BFGA2 could get myself to play the Necron or Tyranid one aafte the slog that the IN one was.