The 5e backgrounds gives you a couple/few proficiencies - might be weapon, skill or tool - and a social perk of some sort. That's better than /some/ 2e Kits did (and not nearly as good as others, because, well, 2e Kits were wildly inconsistent, that way). And, it's more than 4e backgrounds (just a benefit with one skill, for the most part), if less than 4e Themes, and more than 3e backgrounds, on account of they didn't exist - which isn't fair, 3e Professional/Craft skills could step in and pass for backgrounds.Those claiming 5E has many build choices clearly have never played previous editions.
Getting to pick a Background there, a subclass here, is not even close to the customization available in d20.
Backgrounds is a fluff choice with close to zero crunch.
5e has been cautious about adding anything that can't be neatly ignored, yes.Most if not all subclasses added in supplements only reshuffle existing abilities and mechanics already offered by the PHB.
4e did a /lot/ of things that the D&D fanbase nerdraged about: it balanced casters & martials, it presented clearer, more consistent rules that were less familiar to established players but easier for new players to jump in with, it emphasized out of combat challenges that engaged the whole party instead of turning on a single roll or spell from a specialist, it made DMing phone-it-in-easy with encounter guidelines that were easy to use and delivered more dependable challenge, it sidelined magic items as an only-moderately-important character build resource, it opened up concepts the game had never done or never done well through new classes, backgrounds, themes/PP/EDs, and virtually-unrestricted player-side re-skinning.Thing is, if PF2 does the same how can we NOT say Pathfinder 2 isn't Paizo's 4E?
PF2 seems to have done a couple of those things, it's gotten the same XOMG! The WIzard's Been NERFED! reaction 4e did, initially, (even though the wizard remained the most versatile & sysetem-mastery-abuseable class even in 4e), so maybe it's tilted towards class balance relative to 3.5/PF1 or 5e. It has introduced some rules around skills that might make them more significant in & out of combat. ...and that's really about it.
I think Paizo is looking at a very different market. In 2009, PF1 only had to pick up the real-D&D crown that WotC had thrown in the mud and trampled on, and it was guaranteed stunning financial success for a non-D&D game. In 2019, D&D is really-D&D again, and enjoying a resurgence in popularity not seen since the initial fad flopped, a full-bore come-back. It's choices were really to jump on that bandwagon and go back to making supplements for D&D, or strike out on their own with Golarion & PF... but, to do that, they'd have to actually make PF2 /a better game/ than PF1. Since PF1 is so much like 3.5, and since 4e was also a (largely successful) attempt to make a technically better game to follow 3.5, PF2 happens to have improved on PF1 in some of the same ways.The core issue is this: why on Earth did Paizo think the time was right for a game with ANY influences from 4E?
IMHO, jumping on the bandwagon would've been the better call. The history of the hobby is written on the bones of games that thought being better than D&D would mean success.