I feel like you may have missed the emphasis of my post if you're picking me up only on the plot. I think that was endemic of other issues the game had, namely that like its plot, the rest of the game tries too hard to be something and that itself gets in the way of Rule of Fun. That was what I was talking about with BL1; they put you in a world and tell you to have fun and along the way you meet some interesting personalities. I felt it was the opposite with 2; they put you in a world where you interact with characters and along the way you can have fun, providing you are lucky enough to get a weapon that actually is fun. It was great to get a Jackob's pistol in 2 that you could hammer at, but it also felt weak and fell prey to "Why would I use that when I can use a semi-auto sniper rifle or a not-meaningfully-less-powerful SMG or AR?" I didn't even feel like ARs were too good in BL2 either.
I have to completely disagree on the dead air vibe. I thought BL1 worked because of it, not in spite of. I'm fully acknowledging that this is a preferential thing and that some people want more tied in narrative, but I tried to enjoy 2's and it just didn't gel for me.