Well, it looks like the 3 year wait is finally over. Multiple forums report that patch 1.51 is going live to all game server providers THIS WEEK!. Depending on how long it takes those providers to get things installed, you'll be seeing servers available to play live with 1.51 within days.
For those of you trying to find out where to get it, it is the SAME patch that was used in the Beta test. Patch 1.51 BETA. This is going to be used as the final version, so if you have the beta labelled version, you don't have to do anything. EA will probably have a formal version up shortly for those that haven't already downloaded the beta patch (but again, it is supposed to be the same thing).
Now, as this version upgrade won't hit EVERY server right away (it may even take a month or so for it to really pass through all the public servers) you will have to have the matching version to play on a given server.
As such, you CAN have both versions on your computer at the same time. You can then switch between the two with some manually intervention so that you can play on a server with the same patch level.
In order to do this follow these instructions:
1. BEFORE PATCHING, go into your 2142 install directory to :C:\Program Files (x86)\Electronic Arts\Battlefield 2142 (or wherever your 2142 folder is located).
2. Copy the entire Battlefield 2142 folder and save in in the same location using a different name ("like Battlefield 2152.150")
3. Run the 1.51 patch. This will patch your original Battlefield 2142 folder
4. When you want to play on 1.51 servers, you will do nothing, just play.
5. When you want to play on 1.50 servers, go back into the install directory and rename the plain "Battlefield 2142" folder to something like "Battlefield 2142.151". Then, take the previously copied and renamed folder and remove the extra naming convention (ie. take "Battlefield 2142.150" and change it back to "Battlefield 2142")
6. Start the game and you can now play 1.50 servers. When you want to go back to 1.51 servers, revers the naming process with both folders again.
I am not liable for any gaming interruptions, broken keyboards, swearing, black plague, or spontaneous flammable anal leakage that may be cause by following these instructions incorrectly. In the event of a total 2142 catastrophe, call your local Congressman, eat a small rodent and hide under your bed.