Okay, after playing for a bit (on my own server so I'm not totally lagging out) I'm going to say that the infantry combat seems improved over SWBF1. It's not up to JA standards, but it's a lot more fun... what with getting heroes and earning other classes and all that. Granted, it's way off in terms of 'realism' and they've pumped up Infantry at the expense of vehicles (they're a lot slower and easier to destroy now).
Many of the flaws present in SWBF1 are still here. It still has a consoley/arcadey feel which will turn some people off. Likewise the communication's model is horrible (this game seems made for voice communication with a group of friends on your team). The AI seems vastly improved, and giving orders to bots actually works (you can ask them for health for example). A lot of voice samples are still missing (silent commands) and they may or may not be added for the final game, I don't know. There's a lot of place holders... several classes have an exotic weapon but the model is just of a standard pistol or rifle. Given how SWBF1 had placeholders (like the Darktrooper's "cannon") I'm not too hopeful that they'll give them new weapon models.
You still can't type once the battle has been won, and you have to wait for the next map to load before you can quit. The radar thing is a major issue.
A lot of the flaws aren't bugs necessarily, they're just poor design decisions or glaring omissions (when compared to what kinds of things we've come to expect in other PC FPS games).
With regards to the bot difficulty though it looks like they just removed "Easy" and changed Hard's name to "Elite" (and you'll remember they improved Hard in the last patch for SWBF1). There were still a few bots who stood facing walls the entire match and bots that had difficulty tracking their targets (firing even though there was a closed door or wall between them).
Grenades bounce all over the place (more than usual?) and have a high probability of hitting your own teammates (who don't run away from your grenades.. so all the more reason to turn off Friendly Fire!).
Space combat is the real disappointment though, sadly. It just doesn't seem well planned out. :P
As for using a joystick, oh well. I thought about buying a flight stick years ago for XWA but never got around to it. A good one tends to be somewhat expensive for what little I'd use it. Would it be good to have it on standby for when I hop into a vehicle? Perhaps...