So, the Extended Cut. The epilogues are nice and all, and it's (sort of) great to see BioWare's absolute intention behind each ending, but I liked the original cut's ambiguity, and with the Extended Cut there is none.
I chose Destroy originally because that was Shepard's goal from the off, and there was no way to know how the other two choices would play out. Synthesis... nigger please, that sounds insane, and Control... who's to say Shepard would even be the same person having been transformed into an AI. There's also the issue of both Control and Synthesis leaving the Reapers intact.
With that in mind, Destroy was very much the easy choice to make, and with the Extended Cut it still is (without foreknowledge anyway), even with the Catalyst's expanded explanations, you still can't be sure of just what Control and Synthesis will entail, or that the Catalyst is even telling the truth. The difference now though is the epilogues. They spell out plain and simple that despite the fact that Shepard can survive, Destroy is (besides the new Refuse ending) actually the worst possible ending. The Citadel and relays are damaged the most with Destroy, the Geth are dead, EDI is dead, the Reapers aren't around to help repair and advance the galaxy, there's still the chance of synthetic life one day wiping out organic life, and with foreknowledge of the new endings, Destroy is now a downright selfish choice. Also, if you take everything the Catalyst says at face value, it doesn't seem that great of a choice even without foreknowledge.
Control originally sounded like an idea ripe for disaster, and even with the Catalyst's expanded explanation it still seems somewhat ominous: Shepard has to die to become this benevolent Reaper god... fuck that shit... but then it's epilogue time, and Shepard's voice-over is fucking awesome, and now she's some godlike, almost omnipotent, guardian of the galaxy and it's way cool. Also, the Citadel isn't even damaged a little bit with this choice, which makes me think that Destroy isn't remotely near to the Crucible's primary function.
Ah yes, "Synthesis". So easy to dismiss because the Catalyst is so fucking adamant that it's the best choice, and the Catalyst controls the fucking Reapers, and Synthesis sounds fucking crazy. I just get pictures in my head of all the synthetics and organics getting combined together into a mishmash of different beings... and it just sounds stupid.
Let me address the Catalyst briefly though. A lot of people seem to mistrust it and, as I pointed out above, I can see why. That really doesn't seem to be BioWare's intention though, as with the Extended Cut they go out of their way to show you that everything it says is true, and that removes an important aspect of the ending for me of whether this AI can be trusted... Well yes, yes it can. So there goes all the ambiguity.
I know plenty of people who chose Synthesis originally because it sounded like the happiest of endings: If you trust what the Catalyst says then EDI and the Geth live, there's no chance of Shepard become some crazy Reaper controlling Galactic Overlord AI thing, and synthetics will no longer pose a threat to organic life. If you don't trust the Catalyst though, its insistence on Synthesis being the best choice and the batshit crazy concept of the thing in the first place is somewhat off-putting. Now with the epilogue though it's clear that this really is the best fucking ending by far. The evolution of life has been propelled forward, husks are fucking cute now, EDI is alive, she's fucking alive! and her voice-over is brilliant and the only thing that could have made this ending better was if she actually shed a tear when hugging Samantha.
Refuse. Yay! Everybody's dead. Good fucking job Shepard, pat yourself on the back for that one. It would have been more interesting if you saw how the next civilisations had defeated the Reapers. I'm guessing they used the Crucible to make one of the three choices so... wait a minute, what was the point of refusing then? To get billions upon billions of people killed? Wow Shepard, you really are a hero for not making a choice. People moaned about the original three choices, so they get this. Slow clap BioWare, slow fucking clap.
Instead of having Shepard be able to survive Destroy, that should have made the three original choices always kill Shepard in some form or another, and really expanded on Refuse. Refuse should have been the "best" ending. If you have super high Effective Military Strength you should be able to choose Refuse, kill the Catalyst and actually beat the Reapers in a straight up fight (over several years I'd imagine) with Shepard surviving (maybe give her an eye patch to show she's had a tough time). Then just to to really stick it to the Catalyst they should have somehow shown synthetics and organics living happily together till the end of time.
There you have it. The extra stuff is great, but now nothing is left to the imagination and all my justifications for Destroy are pointless, as are any justifications for the other endings, because they don't need to be justified when we know exactly how they all play out. In an ideal world the Extended Cut would have been there from the start, I'd have chosen Destroy, and I'd have avoided all information on the other endings till I died. Oh well, at least the Normandy crashing on that planet was explained...