Even though I love the Gears of War franchise and play the hell out of Gears 2 online (made it to rank 100 twice), I am going to have to disagree with you big time.
Epic Games is only good at making flashy graphics. When Gears 2 came out, multiplayer was even more broken than Gears 1. Matchmaking didn't work day one. The shotgun hit the ground when you hip fired for three months after the game was released. The smoke grenade stun was the biggest mistake ever. The sniper rifle registers headshots only about 75% of the time even after they supposedly fixed it. No host migration so when the host quits you're boned. Host advantage is like turning on God mode.
And after all of these problems you would say Epic Games is the best developer? Gears 2 doesn't work correctly after 6 title updates. Let that sink in for a second...
Most of these "plusses" you mention in the OP are to make the game at least work when it is released. Even with the beta and dedicated servers, the game won't work perfectly when it is released. And 4 player co op should have been done awhile ago. The game is about a four person squad. It's nice that they are admitting they blow at making online games work at least.
If Gears 2 worked correctly from day one then I would agree with you. At this point they are just trying to save their asses.