Gibs for PR-person!
With respect to Crete, I've seen allies win that just as many times as Axis at this point. I used to think it's an unbalanced map, mostly because of the crappy british equipment, but for the most part, the Allies have an even chance of wining if they play smart. If they get on the AA and shoot down the transport planes, instead of trying to just get whatever tank they can, if they let the Axis take a few flags and just hold them there, rather than spread themselves out trying to cover EVERY flag, they'll be fine. The Matilda I, while slower than molasses in winter, is REALLY well armored and can easily take out a PzII. The Axis do have better infantry weapons, but you can still bottle them up to the point where the weapons don't make as much of a difference.
With respect to Karelia, it's just a bad map. Not because it's unbalanced in favor of either side (Yes, the Russians get the PPSh, but the Finns get the G43 and MG 34/42), but because it's just boring once either team takes a flag. You really just need more flags on that map, and probably just a larger map in general (rather than what essentially amounts to an alley fight). I find it just as difficult to retake a flag as the Russians if the Germans get the position as it is to retake the beach if the Russians get it. Basically, once you lose that first flag, you're screwed and the map can be changed, 'cause ain't no way anyone's getting it back. It's a shame too, because the trenches and bunkers and such are so COOL on that map and the woodland scenery with >gasp!< blue sky is nice to look at. (Yes folks, not every battle was fought with grey, overcast skies, lots of fog, and drab muddy battlefields -- some more greenish and bluish maps would be nice...)
Cochise, it sounds like we're in agreement here (in fact, it sounds like pretty much everyone, even the pro-balance people, agree on HOW to achieve balance and how NOT to do it). Clearly, mirror imaging is not the way. It's fine to have counters in the field, but they shouldn't be identical. The German "counter" to the SVT and Garand is the G43, but that doesn't mean they should all operate identically. The American "counter" to the Tiger I and Panther are the Jackson and the Pershing, but they shouldn't all be identical in terms of performance.
There are also inherent balance issues with individual pieces of equipment to consider, IE: the balancing of the panzerfaust (should it be instantly reloadable, should it come with a rifle, how long should it take to zero in, etc.). It sounds like the devs have balanced this stuff pretty well now. Tigers won't traverse their turrets quickly, so they'll be deadly, but outmaneuverable (if you've got enough tanks). Panzerfausts will be REALLY powerful, but you really will only get one, and it won't be a Quake III Rocket Launcher anymore, so use it wisely. The upside is you get a rifle, whereas dedicated AT troopers will only get a pistol. That's all balance, even in terms of counterparts.
But even when people have said "The Americans/Russians/Andalusians/Whatever need a counter to the X", I don't think they mean "Give us a reskinned version of the X". I think they mean "Give us the real life functional equivalent thereof, with all its quirks and differences." So, the Pershing should get it's 90mm gun, but shouldn't have the armor of the Tiger. It should, however, be faster, though. Etc., etc., etc. That's balance even with counterparts, to me.