From my brief play time last night -- full rounds of team deathmatch for a stretch of 30 minutes -- it seems the patch has cleared up the problems I was experiencing. I played for 30 minutes, went from level 4 to (almost) level 8, unlocked a bunch of stuff, but had to to call it a night because the patch took so long to download. (Some of us have to get up and go to work in the morning!)
But the most important aspect is that after that initial rush of "Yay, it's working!" I was actually having some fun with it. And all those ""Team Fortress 2 with grappling hooks and skates" reductions aren't completely out of line, it does feel like the game is trying to carve out it's own identity. At least, so far.