1. Absolutely a hobby. Enjoy playing multiplayer, but spend most of my time in the Mission Editor creating scenarios and tactical dillemnas, some of which I have encountered in field problems or even deployment. I also have more hours in SB than any game I own, combined.
1a. I think SB has a perfect mix of technicalities. Maybe because tank FSC are made for an average 18 year old off the streets to jump into and easily learn.
I hate DCS because it is too technical. It feels like a keyboard button mashing simulator more than anything. The Gazelle requires almost 15 clicks before you can launch w HOT-3. I might as well go be a real pilot, for the amount of time that it takes me to learn all the systems.
2. Nothing on a technical level, but the game has the chance to be a great combined arms game - better than ArmA, but it stops just beyond the "the turret". I think it would attract a larger audience and have more playability (from a scenario aspect) if it would expand further into things like infantry and helicopters - even if there was an abstract approach (much like the AH64 in the Pro version that has an RWS site but allows players to fire hellfires).