DA2 certainly had much to recommend it and it was hardly the unmitigated disaster some like to pretend it was.
I know I'm probably in the minority with this view, but I thought the companions' story arcs were the "real" story being told and that whole mage/templar thing was just a backdrop. Perhaps that's less a to do with the way the companions were written and more to do with how disinterested I was with the main plot, but it was enough to get me to replay it three more times. Not a big fan of the DLC. Legacy was just one massively dull dungeon crawl topped off by a frustrating boss battle. Never did finish Mark of the Assassin.