Well, it's a known phenomenon. Guys go from fanboys to a rabid pack of trolls on release date. I think it has something to do with the mentality that in a Beta, you feel more of a fellowship with the developers - you are working together to make a better game, which should give a fairly high tolerance to small problems - but on release, you switch toles to being paying customers that feel things should no longer be unstable or buggy at all; your role becomes more in opposition to the developers.
I'm not sure if that analysis is correct, or even close to how it is, but it is easily observable that the level of complaints rise by many orders of magnitude on release. It is probably related to a lot of new faces as well, whose excpectations may or may not have been met.
I mean I'm just here because I'm stuck at work, waiting for some automated worki task to finish before I can head home to finally start playing. However it never gets old : a day before release everybody cries "gimme that game NOOOOOOW! PLZ!" and as soon as it's there ppl. start to complain. Now that is not always a bad thing. As long as there is feedback you actually did something right as a developer, since there seem to be people that actually care about your product.
On the other hand however you're always risking a lot when you release something not polished up. In our special case here I'm happy to have a version of the game, no matter if it's "finished" or not, knowing that there WILL be a lot of improvement over time. But others expect a different quality when buying something and I'm sure I'd be pretty much pissed if I bought the new...let's say "Mass Effect 3" finding it in such a bad shape. But here were talking about Elemental. A Stardock game. Smaller company than Bioware, not so many ressources. For ME that IS actually a pretty good excuse.
I loved both GalCiv games and baught all addons too. I modded a few things just for myself and I'm still playing those games from time to time. So I kinda know what to expect from Elemental and I'm not worried about lack of support or updates at all. Furthermore I'm really lookin forward to get my hands on playing around with the XML files, graphics and stuff. If Stardock isn't fast enough to supply me with the content I want, then to hell with it, I'll do it by myself. Not because I'm some sort of fanboy but because I enjoy doing that AND Elemental enables me to do so...tripple A titels like Civ or my Mass Effect example wouldn't let me do that in such a manner.
So no whining on my side of the Internet.