I believe you are mistaken...
DFA - I do not know why you saying MOST people think it was crap. A more accurate answer would be MOST people on these FORUMS think it's crap. Think about it, why do people come to these forums anyways? I can tell you that the majority will say that they have something to complain about.
In the SofD Clan NF 1v1 duel server, there were a group of DFA users who branded themselves with the name: Drunkens
They were pure DFA spammers, and I must say, that new comers would complain. But then when they stayed for a while, and watched the regulars there play (who were medium users or NOT DFA spammers..) they noticed something...DFA DOES NOT OWN..lol..it was very easily avoidable, and that's why no one ever really complained about these Drunken. the only problem with DFA was when it hit the ground, and then someone died from it. Otherwise, DFA was perfectly fine.
Now with DFA nerfed, Backstab has emerged. Let me ask you, why was Backstab not complained about before? why was it not abused? Because saber damage was much more REALISTIC before. If you turned yoru back for a second, you were dead. Now in hte process of Raven trying to make this game, as you say "more fun than realistic" , it triggered this exploit as the sense of danger while running backwards has been diminished.
But once again, backstab right now is VERY EASILY avoidable. I personally do not see anything wrong with it. Yes, you may die from a lucky hit from time to time, but what's a game where you don't ever die?
Oh and as for twl, I withdrew from 1v1 nf sabers ..actually I told Tysoft to delete my name, because I had switched clans and had to switch names, I will be rejoining the ladder soon.