You're "arguably more of a fan than I'll ever be."? Get a grip dude. Who cares? Life is too short to nitpick about shit you hate. It's so simple- If you don't like the aesthetics, don't play it. You're gonna live, I promise.
I love colors in my games, but the default definitely looks better to me.
For me, it's more a of a 'play better' question than anything. I absolutely hate when filters and other post-effects make me nigh blind, just because they're shooting for a movie-look - at the detriment of playability and player control. Nothing against gameplay relevant lighting, but BF3 takes it way too far. As if random deaths from above weren't enough, now every shadow and sunglare can hide your killer - and let's not even begin to talk about suppression blur. On some maps, the sun literally blots out the entire picture from some angles - as in full-on blind. So stupid, it hurts my brain everytime I happen upon it.
I'm getting killed by people who can't hit a barn from inside the barn, just because I'm blinded by systematic blur, and my aim gets thrown off too. Ridiculous design.
Really hope they'll go for hightend senses under duress in BF4. Something along the lines of: De-saturate the normally very colorful and lifelike environments - to better highlight bullet flightpaths with tracer-like effects, highlight muzzleflash, highlight shooter outlines, highlight smoke, increase clarity and volume of shooters directional sound - making fighting back fun the new paradigm of the design, instead of keeping your head down. This whole being helpless shtick, because I'm not that kit with that loadout for this situation - it's getting old. In my kind of Battlefield, every kit is a different type of action flick hero. James Bond. Rambo. John McLane. Jesus. All-powerful and all-capable in all different ways.
Empower us - get away from this co-dependency by one-dimensional very limited kits and faux-realism by silly systems crap. Boring wanna-be mil-sim ain't what I'm playing Battlefield for.
Dude, have you ever looked at the sun? Or had very bright light in your eyes? I don't know about you, but that shit blinds me, IN REAL LIFE!
As for your issues with the suppression system, read any account of actual warfare and you will be amazed at how useful suppressing fire is in real firefights. It's almost vital. If you have suppressive fire being layed down on your ass, you sure as shit won't be standing up and firing back like John Rambo. You will put your head down. It's military science, man. Play some other game if you don't like it.