The perks of buying the PC version according to Infinity Ward (IW):
1. Text chatting. Now you can text chat to your buddies in-game while online, what fantastic innovation.
2. Adjustable graphics setting -- gotta give them points for adding that feature, while console users are stuck with their 720/1080 resolution, you can max it up all the way depending on your hardware. Amazing stuff...although every game has had this feature since the beginning of PC gaming.
3. The ability to use your mouse and keyboard. Now you can unplug your xbox controller and use your computer accessories for a more accurate FPS experience(!).
4. You'll have a fantastic smooth time connecting to IWNet; its so perfect, it'll even give you XBox Live error messages.
Now, the negatives:
1. You're paying more for an inferior product. $60 vs $50. The consoles have a valid excuse for charging more -- $10.00 goes to the console manufacturer (Sony or Microsoft), Activision is just being greedy here; really quite unacceptable, especially in today's economy.
2. Dedicated servers removed -- don't even get me started; I'm sure you've heard of the petition which is nearing 200,000 signatures to re-include dedicated servers. We're left with a terrible online experience. I played the first Modern Warfare (MW) on the PS3 which had peer to peer online play and it was disastrous. Expect drop outs and poor performance. The host of the game will always have the advantage because they have the better latency.
3. No mods. This is surprising because so many other popular games were developed from mods including -- Counterstrike, Team-fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. The only reason I can think of why IW/Activision would want to do such a thing would be to charge for content later on. I remember paying for 3 maps for the first MW -- and to tell you the truth, it really wasn't worth it.
4. Steam required. When you install the game you are required to install the Steam platform and link it to an e-mail address, and your Steam username. This makes reselling the game next to impossible.
5. Feels and plays more like a Modern Warfare 1.5 then a Modern Warfare 2.0; the graphics are alright for todays standard, but I was expecting a lot more from IW for a two year development cycle.
6. Short single player. Since they've gimped the multiplayer aspect, and the single player can roughly be finished in 6-7 hours, I suggest you rent this on the console if you have one.
7. Multiplayer only allows 9 vs 9 (18 player) matches. MW1 allows up to 64 -- does more mean more enjoyable? No, not necessarily, but at least there is choice and server admins were able to set it to their liking.
Infinity Ward have really let their fans down. The multi-player made the original spectacular; with the removal of dedicated servers, competitive and fair play is dead.
Business schools should take note because this would make a wonderful case study on how a company has ruined one of the most anticipated franchise in such a short amount of time. MW2 was literally a license to print money for Activison/IW. With such a terrible management decision, reinstating dedicated servers will be the only hope to redeem themselves in the eyes of their consumers -- however I think this fiasco will not be easily forgotten.
*** Update 11/18/09
Theres hope yet! Hackers have released a patch so you can start/join a dedicated server; its disgusting that this has to come from the underground scene and not Activision/IW. It seems that the hacked copies "freely" available over the Internet is now the superior version.
Hackers have also found hidden modes via the console -- Global Thermonuclear War, One Flag CTF and VIP mode -- future downloadable content already in the game? How low you've fallen Activision/IW.
*** Update 04/16/10
I've given up on this game and probably this series for good -- The 'impenetrable' IWNet is plagued with hacks and cheats. I suggest you all save your money and get Battlefield Bad Company 2 instead; I've been enjoying the experience so far, its a game that involves more strategy and not your standard Modern Warfare, run and gun. Even the NY Times agrees that Bad Company 2 is a better game than Modern Warfare 2. [...]