Thanks for the info.
After first installing the patch (2 days ago), I had all sorts of problems with the game. From the browser freezing to being kicked randonly from games. (Actually...it was a connection error that lead to freezing for a bit which lead to being kicked.)
Last night, I had no problems with the browser and was able to play on the same server for 3 hours. (It did freeze a couple of times, momentarily, but I was never kicked off)
After reading that the troubles were server-side, I decided to play ONLY on Official EA servers. I figured if it caused problem for the server operators that I would do my part in "notifying' EA about it.
No idea about the unlock...I'm just about to reach that rank. Does it unlock the wespon for your most played class or do you choose?
Btw...I've noticed a lot of these online games usually have a patch or two during their life cycle that either breaks or makes playing it hard. It's lame, but just another aspect of PC gaming, I guess.