If the essence of what made crysis great is having the freedom to plan your attack, take your time and play how you want. Then I do like it, but I felt I was able to do that in both C1 and C2.
I liked the original crysis, I liked it a lot. As I said, I thought the opening levels were a bit sparse (but still decent), and the later levels with the aliens were poor. But the middle levels were good, really good.
Crysis 2 had a great balance between structure and freedom in my view. The vast majority of the time the environments gave you enough freedom to approach situations in different ways, they were great self contained play spaces. It had great pacing, big fire fights, small fire fights, a bit of everything.
As for it being all 'GO GO GO' I don't agree. I rarely felt rushed in C2. Thats one of the reasons why I liked it, I hate being rushed through levels. There were some parts where the pacing was more forced, but not many, and they helped to mix things up a bit. The tactical visor assessment thingy was a bit poo, you're right. But I just didn't use it. So there
I can see why some prefer the wide open nature of C1, I just wish it had been great all the way through.