You really need to go spend some time on the MWO boards. Read their dev blogs on what they want to accomplish.
Ignore a lot of the whining posts, just read the developers vision statements. Then visit the comments on what they consider closed beta versus open beta. They are still not to the point where it is considered open.
There will be a small patch today and a much larger one planned for the 16th.
(and no, this isn't it).
As to the last question, yes. The economy has been seeing some adjustments. Paying for repairs isn't too costly right now.