There's hardly a game or any kind of software which ships with all features exactly as its creators envisioned at the start of the project. It's the same with movies and pretty much everything else. As long as we stay humans it's impossible to accurately tell in advance just how much time some job will take. They can't even always tell how long until my hamburger is ready in the local fast food restaurant.
So features get cut and great ideas stay unfinished. That's just the fact of life. I don't see what makes KotOR2 that special that there's always a big hoopla about how evil LucasArts/Obsidian are to have cut some of what they originally envisioned. It's the same as any other game. Heck, it's not even as if they ever promised those parts to be in the game. Microsoft, on the other hand, promised numerous features to be coming in Longhorn which we now know won't be there. I just don't see anyone arguing half as vehemently about that.
If only I could finish all the ideas I have in my mind or finish all the many experimental projects I've started, most of you would probably be using one of them. Alas, there's never enough time to get even a handful of them polished enough.
So don't go saying "but it could have been so much better if only they did this and that." Judge it for what it is without obsessively thinking about what it could have been.
If the question is reduced to whether KotOR2 (as released) is better than KotOR1 (with the 1.03 patch), I honestly fail to see how could anyone conceivably state that KotOR2 is not a definite improvement. Once I finished KotOR2, I went back and replayed KotOR1. Then another go through KotOR2.
In my opinion, the sequel is light-years ahead of the original. KotOR1's story, NPCs, dialog, just about everything is much more simplistic and uninteresting. And don't even get me started on KotOR1's half-hearted attempt at porting that ugly console interface to the PC. All the equipment screens staying in a tiny little 640x480 box in the middle of your 1600x1200 display? No way of looking up or down? Obsidian even fixed those pretty nicely.
You all are obviously entitled to your opinion and I can accept that you think otherwise, even if I fail to understand why. And I will just keep butting in and stating my own opinion, as I am likewise entitled to. I only wish the arguments about how KotOR2 might have been if they had the time and willingness to finish those couple of maps they cut.
Why aren't you all worked up about the features which were cut from "Baseball Mogul 2006," "Project Snowblind," "Doom3: Resurrection of Evil," "The Matrix Online," "Elite Warriors: Vietnam," or "SWAT 4?" That's just the list of the most recent reviews on GameSpot.
I haven't even heard some of these names before yet I can assure you that there must have been some ideas cut from each and every one of them.