I play Male Shepard and I love the guy, but I have played at least a playthrough of both Mass Effect 1 and Mass 2 as Fem Shep and she's no lightweight for sure! I'm glad that Bioware is giving Fem Shep her due, even if I prefer Male Shepard.
@SSValis: While this may be true, the point still stands that the characters from the Gears of War books are awesome! Hell, I would even go as far to say the characters from the comic books are pretty darn cool too.
As far as main characters of the series wearing helmets, Carmine is the only one I think that should be wearing a helmet of the main cast. I wanna see the faces of my squad mates, that's why I think Halo Reach worked as well as it did; if they never took their helmets off during the campaign, why would I care any more for them than the AI UNSC marines that serve as cannon fodder?