Well, sure, I think DA2 could have been a lot better with some more time and effort. I do think that the basic bone structure of the game is better than the bone structure of DA. And yeah, I don't think that the "massive flaws" are as massive as other people do. I like Kirkwall, I like the villain, I like the player characters. So the only real flaws are minor to me. Keep in mind that people have different opinions on what is good and what isn't.
I should clarify that the point by which I judged something as massive is how fundamental it is to its design. I'm not just going off by what I don't like.
For example repetitive levels are undeniably a problem, that's a concious design choice made by the production contraints, to fix it, it takes fundamental commitment of resources from different departments. So it is a massive problem that sure you can perceive as small but that does not change its nature.
The same thing about companion customization.
I think I've been very careful in taking different tastes into consideration but I think I made it clear that the real main problem for me is just how rushed the whole thing is, this isn't a matter of thinking what is good or bad. I think even if DA2 had all the time it needed I would still like DA better because DA just gives me that BG feel which I like more.
That said it doesn't stop me from seeing a game in DA2 that could be a lot better.
I personally didn't care about companion customization… one of the most annoying things for me in the first game was always holding onto loot until I got back to camp and then trying it on everyone to see if it was 1 or 2 points better than what they had or if they had the stats for it... and that was really tiresome. I know inventory management is a huge part of the game for some people, and I'm okay with it in some games... it gets old fast when you have 8,000 pieces of more or less identical equipment dropped along the way and a carrying limit.
As someone that liked companion customization I agree with your complaints. I take a lot more issue in the fact that they dropped it instead of fixing it.
I'm going to make a few assumptions now that I feel that are pretty safe to make.
I think the aspects people probably enjoy about character custumization is having agency over the change of your companions.
Now the two big things are of course visual change and than a change in power. What I feel prevents a lot of people from enjoying those two is probably the fiddly nature of stuff and rummaging through endless item lists.
Now those are things that I don't think have anything to do with the fundamental feature of companion customization but more with how it was presented. I totally agree that DA had almost no payoff for customizing, those tiny 1-2 points for every upgrade are really bad. The menus for managing are oldschool clusterfuck and you have to do way to much clicking to get things done.
I'm almost sure that if you solve the problems around how info is presented to you(this I feel is one of the most important and very few rpgs have gotten it right), streamlining of how you navigate around that stuff, trying to make every upgrade feel meaningful and most important of all make them visually appealing(which probably has the most value) you'll end up with a system that I think a substantial amount of people will be happy with and maybe even like to the point of never wanting it to let go again.
And sure even the people that dislike fiddling with that sort of thing to the core I think even they could get around that if the payoff is worth it, why I think that? Well just looking at most mmo's or any kind of social games people do a lot of boring and annoying stuff to earn something they feel has value to them.
Sidenote: Also what was up with trash items in DA2? Had zero value, no even worse it had minus value. Instead of going with your new deisgn philosophy of trimming everything annoying out you go add trash items… A thing that just exists to force one extra click onto people to get their gold (and oh I know the design decision behind it was probably to make people feel rewarded that they are constantly looting but I've yet to meet the person that felt rewarded by that).