I've been playing quake for like 10 years now, I'm not a quake superstar or something but I definitely call myself a quaker when it comes to gaming.
About Quake Live - it's awesome, improved game. I love the speed, new weapons are cool and new maps are great too. But the essential thing has been taken away from this game - item timing. I don't think anyone will argue with the fact quake is about chasing the items. The thing you know the item spawn time is somewhat improvement to the game and maybe some sort of experiment but I'm totally not buying it. It's like changing essential rules. Like if you can bounce the ball with your hand if you were playing football (soccer).
It's been dumbed down for new players to catch on and for the general reason the world has chosen its path to come but I won't discuss this matter as it's too obvious yet too complicated. Im sticking with some oldschool 1.31baseq3 and Im sure there will be players to play this in 5 years.