Bill and Spencer,
While I do not agree with many of the complaints about M2E, I'm glad to see that you're still part of this community, as you've obviously invested a lot of time and energy into the game in the past.
I think the reasons I find myself disagreeing with you have as much to do with the amount of time we each have to devote to this game as with the rules themselves. As you can see by my post count, I barely have time to skim these forums every few days and certainly do not have time to post frequently. Having already taken the time to listen to your (long) podcast, however, I figured I may as well spend a little more time responding.
I won't go point by point through your podcast, but one example of how the time you have to spend on the game colors our perception of the M2E rules is the upgrade system. You say that when the idea was first proposed, you wanted the upgrades to add more optional abilities while retaining the abilities on the 1.5 cards. While I understand that to you this means a richer game, to me the prospect of needing to learn and memorize yet more abilities is headache-inducing. It's not that I wouldn't want to play such a complicated game if I hypothetically had hours each day to spend perusing cards and upgrades, it's that I don't have that kind of time. The more choices that can be made on the table, the more Malifaux can reward in-game decision-making as opposed to time spent haunting the forums, reading Pull My Finger entries, or memorizing model abilities. For some, doing your Malifaux "homework" (as another post put it) might be as enjoyable as playing the game itself, but for me there are just too many other things in life to attend to. In no way do I mean to cast aspersions on those who still have so much time for their hobby along with work and family commitments. If anything, I'm a bit jealous of those who get to play so often and grateful to those who go a step further and liven my commute by podcasting about their hobby experiences. All I'm really trying to say is that I can see why someone with more time to spend on Malifaux might prefer first edition, while I and others with more busy schedules might appreciate the focus of second edition.
This is not to say that I don't share some of your concerns about M2E, though my reasons are often different. To take the same example, the upgrade system worries me because there will often be clearly optimized "choices", which will quickly become stale and ultimately emphasizes the listbuilding phase of the game (a major reason many of us have fled other game systems).
A final note on the format of the podcast: Because you agreed on almost everything, the conversation was a bit of an echo chamber. I'd also be happy hear less bile directed toward the designers, forumites, and straw men in future episodes, but it's your podcast. These are just the opinions of listener and I have no sense of entitlement or expectation that you follow these suggestions. The thing that drew me to the Gamer's Lounge in the first place was the detailed tactical analyses of models and their relative strengths. Here's hoping that you eventually warm to M2E enough to go back to that sort of content. If not, I wish you the best in finding another game that better suits your interests and hope you stay in the tabletop mini hobby in some capacity.