I'm not disappointed in a slower release cycle. It should improve the quality of each release.
I think so too. I've been using openSUSE since it was SuSE Linux Professional and, before that, just S.u.S.E. Linux. They had an approximately annual release schedule for the newer, pre-Novell, versions and didn't try to stuff in every single newest thing going. I like to think this gave them the time to make sure that the vast majority of what they did ship worked well.
Unfortunately, a combination of changing to the "me-too" scheduling of releases (IIRC, the original discussion of the release schedule was calling for 6-month releases so they could be just like Fedora; after an attempt or two to maintain that, they switched to the schedule they're on now) and turning it into a beta-test for unfinished and premature software (systemd, pulseaudio, KDE 4.0, and the disaster that was online updates starting in the 10.x versions) have really degraded the distribution from what it once was.
From what I can see this moved the emphasis from shipping a distribution with what I'd call good "fit and finish", a good selection of software almost all of which worked correctly, no nasty surprises in the base functionality of the OS, etc., to trying to ship to a schedule, ready or not and ignoring anything that didn't get them there. I know the majority of bug reports I've made in newer versions got marked "wont fix"; not "can't duplicate" or "working as designed", but "won't fix", i.e. "yes, we know about it and know that it's broken but won't do anything about it". Not a good sign for a distribution that had been previously known for its functionality and stability.
I'm hoping that this serves as a wake-up call to the developers and that the suggestions coolo and others in the discussion are making will get them back toward shipping a distribution that's closer to what the old SuSE Linux was known for. What I'm seeing in the discussion is looking good so far.