Comparing Sins, and Homeworld is like comparing Apples, and Oranges. They have similarity, but they are not the same.
Sins is a game focused more on "grand strategy" like most 4x's are. While Homeworld is also strategy game. However Homeworld is more focused on the tactical aspect of a local battlefield. Not an entire galaxy like sins.
Sins can be considered an evolution. I can see Homeworld going this route if they maintained the franchise.
I Hated the HW2 interface! I preferred the separate windows for the build, and research screens of HW1. That didnt detract from the game at all IMO. It left the main view of HW1 quite literally unobstructed. No big ass side, and bottom bars taking up 1/2 the damn screen. I can focus on the action in HW1 without menus getting in my way. Some say that they didnt like that there was no UI in HW1.. EXACTLY! to me that was Homeworld classics best feature! Next to the adjustable formations, and tactics settings.
I did like the graphical updates, and how HW2 rethought strike craft, but i am with Zeta. The frigates were pathetic, and way too squishy. Even at max research. Plus not having support frigs, and corvettes to me was a big minus too. The "subsystem targeting" needed more work. I was really pissed that they took off the cap ships point defense systems (or they just plain didnt function right. It took a MOD to fix it). The music of HW2 didnt suit the game ether. It was like relic took the Kushan/Higarans, and turned them into space ghandi's (i know they are desert dwellers, but i seriously?).
The SP campaign was the most abysmal part. How many freaking times did we have to rescue Captain Soban? How many times did fleet intelligence find an impenetrable fortress, but yet miraculously "found a weakness". I dont even want to talk about "sajuuk"... Well yea i do.. Bring the freaking B.F.G. to bear.. BRING THE FREAKING B.F.G. TO BEAR!
I suppose, i have a lower threshold or something, cause i agree with you basically on every point, especially the interface part, but unlike you in the end i consider the game to be ok. The music with middle-eastern motives was IMHO fine, it kept the line with some of the original HW tunes and gave overall the HW universe its middle-eastern feeling, which i quite liked, it gave the universe certain level of uniqueness compared to Star Trek, Babylon 5, Conflict Freespace and others... still as with everything else, overall the music of original HW was better and more varied, i totally loved the "Kharak" tune, which played in the very first mission of the game, or the spooky one from Karos Graveyard. And then OFC Adagio of Strings and the Homeworld of Yes in the credits, one of my fav songs ever...
...frell me, that game was utterly brilliant, i wonder if the guys behind it realize, what a masterpiece they created. If it was movie or book, it would be a cult by now.
BTW i agree that possible direction for next Homeworld game is the one, Ironclad took with Sins. Alternatively they might want to go other way, Dawn of War 2/Nexus style. Personally would prefer if they chose the Sins way, i can imagine choosing either Hiigarans, Taiidans or Vaygr and lead them toward the galactic dominance, how awesome would that be...