We all want to make the best game possible, but often other factors come into play that force less than ideal resolutions to design problems. Late in development, design decisions are often about what is the best decision based on the time and resources we have left. I've had to say no to really good ideas simply because we thought of them too late. My common response during this stage of development on any game project is: "That's awesome...for the sequel!"
We have now entered the very latest stages of development on Red Faction: Armageddon as we are focused on getting our final build ready. My job has turned to analyzing every bug that comes in and working with the other leads to decide not only how it should be fixed, but IF it should be. Known Shippable is the favorite phrase at this stage as we have to look hard at if it's truly worth fixing at the risk of breaking something else.
It's an interesting stage of development as most of us don't have a ton of work that must be done, but there's a lot of waiting around because something crucial could come up at any moment that needs immediate action. You almost feel like you can relax a bit and that the worst is over, but you can't because a truly horrific crash bug could come up that requires you to now work non stop until it's taken care of.