I've never liked Quake 3. To be honest, aside from the singleplayer modes of Quakes 2 and 4, I've never much enjoyed the Quake series. Admired them as technological accomplishments? Sure. Enjoyed other games built on the engines? Absolutely. But liked the games? No. Compared with their contemporary competitors such as Duke Nukem 3d, Unreal, Half-Life and so on, they've always felt very shallow and conservative.
But hey, I am not the final arbiter of gaming taste. A lot of people do like the series. But by and large, they like it because it is so conservative. Quake 3/Quake Live's players are basically the people who have looked at everything in modern gaming and said "no thanks". To an extent, I sympathise. There are aspects of some modern shooters, such as 2-weapon limits, modern military settings, regenerating health systems and corridor-levels that I'm also bored to death of (though not everything is like that). But this is an audience that defines itself pretty much by its resistance to change.
So why bother pushing changes like this? Your existing players are not only going to hate it, but they are going to compete with each other to see who can shout that they hate it the loudest (proving yourself more "hardcore" and "oldschool" than anybody else is a big part of how you navigate the social pecking order around niche games like this). And new players? It's still, under those minor changes, the same old game it always once and still both feels and looks like a legacy from another era. Counter-Strike edged out Quake 3 as the main competitive fps for good reasons. Plus it's a legacy from another era with a really, really hostile-to-beginners culture to go with it.
If all of the above sounds hostile... it's not really meant to be. It's absolutely a good thing that there are niche games like this out there. But by and large, the absolute worst thing the developers of those long-standing niche games can do is to try to take them "mainstream". It usually just alienates the old audience without attracting a new one.