I also like 3. Not so much as an Alien film, but as a film in general. It's got some great acting mixed in there and a really awesome, yet uninspiring speech. And through it looks shitty right now, that CGI was cutting edge for its time.
Well I guess that depends on your opinion of 3 which is really about the hopeless march to death of Ripley than anything else, 3 rips that victory and happy ending away and says "it wasn't a happy ending Ripley is going to die now watch it happen". Personally I have a lot of time for 3 (especially now we have the restored workprint which adds more depth to it), it was a brave direction but I do understand why people hated it coming after Aliens to be fair.
But they did survive, that was kind of the whole tension relief point of Aliens. I'm not saying they should have lived happily ever after and they could have killed them off via action in the next flick if they were part of the next flicks story, which they didn't have to be - the way they chose to handle it was just a bodge.