So, what you are saying is that people who don't have (or don't even care about) the skill required to play Quake are the ones playing COD, and that from a purely competitive/skill based perspective of gamers who have a lot of gaming skill, the game isn't designed well for them? I never disagreed.
However, for the millions of people who couldn't care less about Quake and its elitist players, it's perfectly balanced, thus fun and enjoyable. For players who are trying to just have fun, there's nothing wrong with the game in general, obviously. So there's some big kill streak rewards that everybody can earn, so what? So there's some helicopter action that everybody can get, so what? It's all about fun in regards to any game, or it should be.
If you are arguing that there are too many COD clones, I'd agree. I would love to see more innovation in the genre, but that doesn't mean I'd love to see more Quake games, hardly, I find Quake to be boring at best, but I'd love to see more Portal/Half-Life style FPS games that innovate/make things interesting.
You're clearly just not a competitive online FPS player, so you're not going to get it.
Every online FPS game is competitive by nature. Every single game you go into, your goal is to beat the other team or beat the other player. No one goes into a game wanting to lose, every one wants to win, that's the natural competitive nature of an online FPS game.
My gripes with call of duty are that there are so many randomised game mechanics in the meta game that is significantly reduces the amount of fun you can get out of the competitive aspect.
Think of it as like an actual sport. Let's take MMA, a highly competitive sport. You can just train MMA for fun or you can look to make a career out of it, like online gaming. All of the organisations promoting MMA don't include random, silly things into their rule set (ala call of duty). There aren't tag team matches or 2vs1 matches, that would completely ruin the competitive nature and legitimacy of the sport. The more random elements you throw into the sport, the less competitive it becomes.
That's the case with cod. You have all of these wild and uneccesarry mechanics such as kill streaks and automated helicopters, remote control bombs....all of those things are hurting the competitive nature of the game, and like I said, every online FPS game by nature, is competitive, everyone plays to win.
The call of duty franchise isn't popular because it's a great game, it's simply a product of genius marketing, that's all. Marketing and funding is every thing. And that's why I get annoyed, because I know that if Quake got the right marketing, sponsoring and funding behind the game, it could quite easily be just as huge as call of duty is now.