This is how I felt with reach. I made it halfway through the first campaign mission and it didn't catch my interest one bit. Online was just as bad. I played gruntpoc until it was fixed and it got my rank to 100,000 from general, and I have up on the game entirely.
I know a lot of people hate reach but I really loved the game. I soloed the campaign on legendary with 5 skulls (every enemy was the white armor type) because i found it so challenging and interesting. Reach did make me quite sad because they removed dual-wield once and for all and halo 4 not having it just reaffirms the likelyhood that it is gone from halo forever.
I see where you are coming from though, guess how you felt about reach sounds like how i feel about 4. I feel like i've been trying to force myself to like it or find a reason to for the past few days.
Oh, BR tower? BxR still means the BR is the better weapon there thanks to overall improved utility. SMG/PR killed quicker than a four shot at about 1.5* sword range, but it's not hard to avoid that and BR was much better for team shot.
What was Halo 2/3 a BR show? which it was Halo CE? Pistol show.
You could defeat precision weapons in Halo 2/3 with certain dual-wield or several other tactics. Short of BXR combo you'd lose to most other guns in short range, even an SMG+melee if you both rounded the same corner at the same time. You also didn't always start the damn game with a precision weapon. Halo 1 was indeed the pistol show though lol.
In short range in 4 an AR rarely loses to a precision weapon, especially the DMR. The BR seems to fare better but I've never lost an AR/DMR duel yet. Maybe a couple AR/BR duels though.
BR seems to put out more damage if the person hits even if you are in their face with the AR. I don't know if it's always like that or any details, but I often lose against the BR if I'm using an AR, doesn't matter what range.