I keep hearing variants of the line "Why do the Atlantis people keep acting so STUPID" and I was thinking about it and it just clicked. They don't do contingency planning. SG-1 totally does it, not all the time but when they can, yeah, and you don't always see it but you see the results of it, when things go pear-shaped and they deal with it.
On Atlantis? Not so much. It's not necessarily that the plans they come up with are less wacky and improbable, it's that on SG-1 where the general tells the people who come up the latest insane plan "Okay, write it up, we'll do a briefing and see how many of the holes we can fill in and if there's any improvements we can make" while on Atlantis Weir says "But . . . well, if you have to, okay, do it." Which makes for a more action-packed TV show, but also we notice the change.
The thing is, I kind of buy it. Partly I associate that kind of competent contingency planning with the military, and it gets done when Hammond and O'Neill and Landry and Carter and Mitchell and even Teal'c and Bra'tac are in charge (although the Tok'ra contingency plans suck, that may be part of why Jack doesn't like them).
But Sheppard, he might not trust his superiors, but mostly he just doesn't ever think his own plans will ever go wrong. We do see him making good plans when the Genii are involved, so we know he can do it, but then he's always put a lot more effort into battling the Genii than we see out of him most of the rest of the time.
And Ronon's a lot younger than Jack or Teal'c, and also maybe more used to responding to the crisis of the moment, where you act or you're dead, rather than complex operations (though I haven't actually seen Sateda yet, sorry).
And Rodney, back when all his physics were still theoretical, used to have time to work everything out carefully and methodically and not miss anything, but since he got to Pegasus he's been flying by the seat of his pants most of the time and he might point out when they're screwed, but it doesn't occur to him to sit everyone down and talk it all out beforehand.
Elizabeth? Actually, I'm having a harder time justifying her actions than the rest. I guess the only thing I can say is that she really never was trained for this, and also the people peering over her shoulder are a hell of a lot farther away than they ever were for SG-1.
Also, Jack and Teal'c and even Daniel, though he puts a cover over it, I see as being pessimists. And Sam is maybe a bit of an optimist but she's also very practical, and would probably prefer the term realist. So they kind of expect to go down in flames, and plan accordingly. Whereas Atlantis, they are mostly optimists. So they expect, well, not to go down in flames, despite all evidence to the contrary. Which explains a lot, to me.
(I've seen most of the shows at this point, but not the SG-1 S9 or SGA S2, except for the last four episodes of each, and also not the episodes from two days ago.)