There are three command line parameters that may be useful for people encountering strange problems nobody else is:
-noVBO currently only does anything useful on ATI and nVidia cards. VBO, or Vertex Buffer Objects, are a new extension recently approved by the OpenGL ARB (approved in Feb 2003 to become part of OpenGL) that allow for improved geometry performance. Unfortunately as this extension is only about six months old the driver guys haven't really had time to perfect their implementation of it yet. Actually I think HW2 may be the first game to take advantage of this extension! How's that for cutting edge? So if you have an ATI card and recently installed the 3.7 drivers and found they were flakey you can try to disable VBOs on your machine. The performance may be a bit lower, but its better than a crash As I am typing this I am unaware of any companies other than ATI and nVidia which support this extension. Hopefully all companies have rock solid VBO support soon.
-noDisplayLists disables display lists. Display Lists are ways for the driver to "cache" stuff it is drawing for improved performance. What happens HW2 tells the driver "hey, I am going to draw this space ship a billion times and the triangles aren't going to change so do whatever you can to optimize it" If your system does not support VBOs (or you disable them) then HW2 falls back to display lists. Unfortunately some driver guys haven't perfected their display lists either . On some cards rendering is incorrect and on others using display lists can actually cause a slow down instead of a speed up! So you might see a performance boost if you disable them. Without VBOs or display lists HW2 will fall back to plain old standard vertex arrays. Or compiled vertex arrays if those are supported. These are a pretty poor way to get your rendering data to the video card, but at least they should work. Hopefully those cards with display list problems will see them fixed in a future driver release... :/ And hopefully those guys also support VBOs
Those two switches should take care of any geometry related problems.
-nopbuffer disables pbuffer support. A pbuffer is an off screen pixel buffer. If you disable pbuffer support you will not get any render to texture effects (shadows and the high quality hyperspace effect-you'll be able to see into your ship like HW1). Generally this isn't a problem. If it is a problem you probably can't start HW2 I never had a problem with pbuffers on ATI or nVidia hardware, but I thought I'd mention it to make the list complete.
Some more while I'm at it:
-noSound turns off sound. Apperently some sound hardware has horrible drivers and HW2 won't work with them.
The final three parameters I can think of are -refresh n to set the refresh rate to something better than 60Hz (ugh!) and -w 320 -h 240 to set the resolution to anything you want. The UI text looks best at the resolutions you can choose in game, but if you want to try 2048x1536 or if you have dual monitor 2560x960 you know how
These are not support command line switches! Use at your own risk and stuff. I mention them only as a possible solution for the users that are having weird problems. HW2 really should work great without any tweaking like this, provided you have modern drivers.