^^^ This. ALL of this. Exactly how I felt, and I struggle to understand all of the people I know going "Avengers was good but this was SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!"
I could not have said it better myself.
Edit: My facebook status after I saw it on Wed night (I avoided spoilers as a lot of my friends hadn't yet seen it)
No spoilers Avengers thoughts (obv if you want to avoid talk until you've seen it, avoid this):
Good overall storyline
Good climactic battle
Not great timing/pacing
VERY jump-cutty fight scenes
It felt somehow incomplete, like a lot's been left on the cutting room floor.
Overall: Worth going to if you're at all invested in the Marvelverse, not one of the better ones though.
Edit again: This bit of your post:
2.5 hours of Captain America being almost invisible he's so one-dimensionally white bread played against Tony's unrelenting anti-team megolamania. You're setting up Civil War, I get it. but it's forced in a big way. The characters didn't reach that point through a process or journey. They teleported directly to it about 12 minutes in.
was the most disappointing to me. It's like they took all the character development that Stark has been going through in every movie since Iron Man
and threw it out the window in favour of "We need him to be in conflict with the team now".
I think that was the most disappointing thing for me.