Thanks for the encouraging feedback, it means a lot to us :)
We shipped a lot of performance optimizations in the last update, so things should be running a lot smoother. Combat speed is a tricky thing to balance. We're convinced it needs to be a bit slower than in real life to offset the reaction penalty you have because of the additional input layer (think keyboard & mouse input.) Another thing to consider is that movement has 'weight' in our game, so it's not possible to cancel an attack and immediately blocked. As you said, planning ahead is an important aspect there. However, this poses another difficulty by itself, because with physics, there's very emergent and dynamic gameplay which is even very hard for us as developers to predict and plan ahead for.
All in all, these are things we want to balance based on feedback in the community. We are also in the middle of setting up infrastructure that allows modding, so people can also directly change some of the physics and weapon stats by themselves to see what they like best.