I've just started back on H4 again recently but find that I normally end up turning it off after about an hr or so due to most of my gaming time is spent in the "matchmaking" part of the game. I did notice that there is a rather low amount of people playing during peak hours (less than 15k to me is low when the playerbase is all over the world)
For me, the games go this way:
Start game & select mode (normally either TDM or B-TDM since they always seem to have the most people) Sit in "finding players screen" for 3-4 min, more if one of the players it finds leaves. Finds all players & now sit & wait for voting Starts playing and should the host quit, sit there for almost 5 min during the host migration, longer if the next host it chooses quits due to it taking for ******* ever to migrate. Match ends & then either all but maybe 3-4 people leave and rinse-repeat process. --- When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
My friends and I played Halo 4 for a week and then went back to Reach. Since the Reach player tracker is broken, I duno how many others followed suit.
You're not the only ones. The Halo-playing people on my friends list stopped playing 4 soon after release to go back to Reach. It'll still take more time than you'd like to play some playlists. Safe bets for faster matchmaking are TS, Ann. TS, BTB, INF, and INV. Multi-team is decent too.
The population counter seems to be updating now. --- "I will weep when there are no more worlds to conquer."