Bought the first game on the cheep in on of the Steam sales back in November (not much more than a fiver as I recall) on a leap of faith and, while it has some notable flaws, I can see why it's gotten the praise it has. I didn't intend to but I caved and preordered #2 just last week.
I don't think I'll regret it as from all the reports so far, all of the major problems from the first game have been addressed. No more cut/paste locations, dull pointless side missions, no more driving over emptry (if occasionally pretty) rocky worlds looking for minerals, no more elevators (though that one never bothered me as much) no more "back-flips-as-soon-as-it-hits-even-the-smallest-bump" Mako, a streamlined inventory system, better combat, more clearly defined classes, the ability to customise your armour (seriously, why were the iconic Onyx armours so hard to come by?) and to import your characters from ME1.
So far I have a paragon female soldier and a renegade male sentinel with a paragon female vanguard still on the go. I'm actually quite proud of by female soldier face, basing her of what I imagined Honor Harrington might look like (green Asian eyes, very high cheek bones, slightly horse mouthed and dark red hair.)
For the male I just stuck with the default "John" face while the second female is a weird mix of South American, African and Eastern European. Dark skin, light brown/dark blonde hair, blue eyes, thick lips and an almost Roman nose.
I like to think that by that point in the future, today's ethnic groups have been put through the blender a bit and you get new "hybrid groups" emerging, so I tend to mix the features up a bit, while still trying to keep things balanced and attractive.
At some point, just for kicks I might do an absolutely dog faced, pale and scared up female, just to buck the trend.