I see a lot if people are still new to bf3 and I wanna say that yes, it is active but it's a fraction of what it used to be.
There's no hard core anything going on. Rarely do you get gunmaster or squad death match. And you almost never find anything else but team deathmatch, rush, and conquest. --- http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/soldier/N7Titan/stats/211621967/ps3/ PSN:N7titan
I tried to bring my hardcore server back a couple weeks ago, but found it extremely hard to fill. even during peak hours. If you need that fix, you're basically stuck playing either ON European servers, or US servers 1/2 filled with Brazillians/Peruvians with their magic leprechaun internet --- PSN: UrMomLieksMudkip, BF3 server: Mudkipz' Funhouse