I do not work for Activision however I do have extensive IT experience and the principles are the same as game development. So here is an idea of what it takes to patch an error:
1. Error is reported on a significant enough level to justify a fix.
2. Incorrect code must be found/identified.
3. Code must be studied and possible fixes discussed(considering costs, labor, feasbility)
4. Decision must be made on best way to implement and benchmarks to determine if it worked.
5. New code must be written.
6. New code gets patched/tested locally.
7. Nothing does what you wanted it to so repeat steps 5 and 6 until it gets close enough.
8. Patch gets tested by more people on a larger scale.
9. Review is conducted to determine if patch is ready for distribution.
10. Decide if it should be launched alone or wait until you can bundle a few, method is scheduled and implemented.
11. Patch pushes, wait to see what actually works(fingers crossed).
12. Work on the other 50 patches you have in the works.
The game mode stuff and others they know about they have probably not stopped working on and are just feeding them out as they finish them. Implementing new patches on a game, console, or computer is a laborious process so don't be too hard on developers. Then you have the hackers that go and f everything up and create security issues, which also have to be patched.
Patience is hard for most people to have. Mostly when anger is introduced into the equation. Well written post though, I agree. For me the desire to experience something new ( that is still fun even with the WTF moments), outweighs the rage and frustration of a new game ( even one that IMO has been rougher than expected) enough to push me to sell or trade it. At worst I could see maybe going to a previous title, but I personally don't see it getting there for me ever.
That would be reviews by IW. After it is completely done they have to send it to Microsoft for approval (different from review) and distribution. Every patch like $40k after the first initial patch. That is why patches are rushed/ The cost too much to do hundreds of them.
This is the reason we need a open beta so we can test out all this stuff before release day, It will eventually hurt their sales in the future and it will be no ones fault but theirs for the same stuff over and over not having released the game with most of the bugs fixed, However this is just my 2 cents
A beta for COD would ultimately be pointless. The best beta is to just release and hope for the best then fix problems as they come. Most of the problems that people want fixed are subjective and not real problems at all. Even the "lag" complaints aren't always as they appear.