Lots to say about this one, but- You, my dear C. Orlando, just said it so beautifully, I'm out of words for now. I second everything you wrote. Brilliant review, congratulations!
As to your question: Yes. I do believe Patrick Jane is a better man. I'm with Lisbon there.
I agree with you: not enough Jane/Lisbon in this episode, but hey- don't I say that about almost ANY episode? Might be. I think there were some missed chances, and it wouldn't hurt to throw us a slightly romantic bone now and then...I have the feeling the writers haven't really done this since the premiere.
I liked Lisbon's brother and niece very much, and I found the whole episode rather fast-paced, so I wasn't bored at any time.
But: all in all, there was just not enough JANE in this episode for my liking, and I couldn't fail to notice that he's the main reason I'm watching the show, as much as I enjoy team interaction and his relationship with Lisbon (IF the writers decide to dwell on it). But watching Jane is always my greatest pleasure- and there wasn't nearly enough of that in this episode.
An additional word about the Jane/Lisbon controversy: I absolutely believe that he truly cares about her, and in my opinion the characters have anormous chemistry running between them, so it's not far-fetched that so many fans want them to be together. They won't get together anytime soon, of course, at this point of the series, the complications would be devastating. But I don't think the producers would lose their face if they'd just fuel the audience's fantasies from time to time...they did in season 2 with episodes like "Red Badge" and "Rose-Colored Glasses", so why not this season? I guess hope dies last....