I've put in quite a few more hours on Team Fortress 2 now, and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. Though if you looked at my stats on the PC Gamer server last night, you wouldn't think so.
The new "patch" actually appears to have degraded performance quite significantly: I was getting terrible lag at some points, and there were some distinctly odd things happening at times, including getting stuck in walls and the camera falling through the floor of the level whenever I got killed. But I digress...
I've pretty much settled on my three favourite classes now and they are (in order of preference): Heavy Weapons, Soldier and Pyro.
I personally find the Heavy the most fun to play, though I know there are certain people who would disagree with me on that. I just love his almost innocent, yet psychotic, enthusiasm. Being a big huge lump of minigun-toting meat has a few drawbacks - mainly the slow spin-up time of the minigun and the tortuous movement rate, which unfortunately makes you pretty much a sitting duck for the BASTARD SPIES, but they're fantastic fun in Sudden Death, especially when you've got a Medic backing you up. I love waddling into the enemy base on 2Fort with a Medic at my back, simply laying waste to all the defensive turrets around the base entrance, and also laying waste to the people as they come out of the respawn point. Well, until I run out of ammunition, anyway... He's also got some wonderful battle cries. He's probably the most accessible class to play with after the Soldier - it's easy to pick up the basics, and you can absolutely dominate a server once you start to master the class.
The Soldier is probably the class which is the easiest to pick up and play with, given that there's not much of a mental leap to really grasp what you can do with a rocket launcher. If there's any nuance to the Soldier at all, it's in mastering the rocket jump (which I haven't yet). I like them purely because they're good for dealing with turrets - I don't actually have that many kills with the rocket launcher yet, because I'm still fighting the lag in my head. I do find it mildly annoying that taking a rocket to the face seems to kill you in one shot, but never anyone else you do it to. I'm also noticing that some Soldiers seem to have much faster rocket re-fire rates than I do. I'm not sure if that's a problem with my mouse, my internet connection or just my trigger finger. I'd say "OMG, HAX", but that's just sour grapes, really. Note to self: Must. Get. Better.
The Pyro is rapidly becoming a favourite and may supplant the Soldier in my affections, basically because they're so frantic. The key to playing as a Pyro is picking an ambush spot and waiting for the BASTARD SPIES to come to you. When moving from ambush point to ambush point you can still do quite a bit of damage with the shotgun, so you're not utterly defenceless, but in close-quarters, especially around control points, the flamethrower is KING. The Pyro was allegedly buffed in the last patch, but I haven't noticed any increase in the range of the flamethrower - but then again, that could just be me. Pyros are fantastic because whenever you ambush someone and set them alight, the engagement turns into a demented Benny Hill chase, except with guns instead of girls and napalm instead of a cheeky grin. You can almost hear the music going off in your head. I still think that the Pyro is relatively underpowered, but they're the best antidote to BASTARD SPIES, simply because the precautionary flaming that Pyros always give their team-mates can "out" Spies in a second. And for that reason alone, I will continue to play with them. Well, that and the muffled taunts and battle-cries too, natch.