And what are your thoughts on the different
My favorite weapon type is definitely the Hand Cannon. It's both badass and stylish, and very fun to wield. I used it almost exclusively (along with the Sniper Rifle as my special) in the Beta in both PvP and PvE.
I have seen a lot of people saying that it's weak in comparison to the other weapon types (even more so in the Alpha which I did not play) in PvP, and I do agree with that (it's only [i]slightly[/i] underpowered though). However, many people have suggested buffing every Hand Cannon in the same way, such as increasing the reload speed or the base damage across the board.
In my opinion, while I do agree that all Hand Cannons should be buffed, I think that the types of buffs the Hand Cannons receive should vary. This way, there would be more variety amongst the Hand Cannons instead of all of them behaving the same way.
For example, a certain Hand Cannon could have 7 rounds, a very high rate of fire, and a relatively short reload time, while another could have 5 rounds, a longer reload time and a slower rate of fire, but a very high base damage and critical multiplier. And of course, the different upgrades each could have will make them even more unique.
The Hand Cannons are currently quite weak overall, without any strengths and specialities in specific areas. For example, every Hand Cannon in the Beta, whether it has a relatively high rate of fire (the Hand Cannons in the Beta don't really have high RoFs though) or a slow rate of fire, 5 shots, 6 shots or 7 shots, takes [i]three headshots[/i] to kill a Guardian, which seems quite underpowered. All Hand Cannons have small clip-sizes (as they should) and long reload times (as they should), but this means that you shouldn't need to pump half the clip into someone's [i]head[/i] in order to kill them. Hand Cannons are meant to be high risk, high reward weapons, but with that many headshots to kill, it's just a high risk weapon.
All Hand Cannons should have their critical multipliers buffed (with some exceptions).
I don't think that Hand Cannon reload speed should be ramped up as much as some people say it should, and neither do I think that Hand Cannons should be able to carry more than 7 rounds per chamber. Hand Cannons are supposed to function in their own unique way, different from the other weapon types. Buffing it this way would just make it a mini Scout Rifle with less range. But they should pack more of a punch than they currently do.
I have not used the other primary weapon types long enough to comment on them, but I have noticed that the vast majority of Guardians in PvP opt for the Auto Rifle (and very few choose the Hand Cannon).
[b]UPDATE:[/b] Hmm. Pulse Rifles are much less popular than I thought.