I am getting the impression that everyone else plays a more sensible biotic than I do.
I like my vanguards on insanity, and I spend a lot of time in melee range. I really liked backlash because it could bat stuff off Ryder while you waited for charge to be back up. Both Jane and Sarah were brawlers for my favorite playthroughs, which probably colors my perceptions. I still think you can get away with more as Ryder, and the narrative makes some effort to note your unusual "potential" as a biotic via the profile thing... But neither Shepard nor Ryder seem intended to be major powerhouses, biotically.
...Now gameplaywise, Mass Effect 2 Sentinel Shepard, Immortal Diety of 'Splosions is probably the scariest.
At the right recharge speed of charge I can see it lasting long enough to recharge charge. Because it literally only needs to last a second. I play more adept style and a second is almost pointless compared to my other options.
Yeah, my poor adept focused Ryder did get plastered more... But that first playthrough with my ideal gameplay style did color my perceptions.
I think the general idea is that both protagonists have something that makes them "special" -- Shep has their special forces training and implants, Ryder has SAM. They seem pretty comparable in general for combat power levels. And they're both pretty fun to play!
Don't take life so serious, son -- it ain't nohow permanent. -Walt Kelly