IR Pathfinders are stronger early game (especially versus Ostheer) because they have 3x elite carbine and 1x sniper that allows them to 1v1 Grens at all ranges and scout the HMG 42. Normal Pathfinders are weak at close and mid range because they have 2x snipers with low DPS on those ranges and can be countered by moving Grens in close. This is why IRPF need the cooldown penalties because spamming them early game would otherwise be devastating to Ostheer.
Is this seriously an issue? I've been playing Recon for long before this patch, and every day since the patch and I never see USF players make more than 1 I&R Pathfinder. Myself I usually only made 1 per match, as my first unit so I could contend with OKW sturmpio rushes.
I really only think it needed a price increase, it is already a more expensive unit than Grens, and the cooldown is pretty ridiculous. Might as well just make it a 1CP unit and be done with it, and remove all 0CP units in general. I've honestly never really encountered the scenario you describe in the hundreds of matches I've played using Recon (that is spamming I&R Pathfinders), then again I'm mostly playing 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 not 1v1.
Other options they could have taken was moved the I&R Pathfinders sight range to 40 at vet0, and then 50 at vet1 or 2.
Anyways, I&R Pathfinder spam would be a hilariously bad strategy, as it would deprive you of grenades / snare and a core infantry unit, which you need Riflemen to fill in that void. Maybe instead they could have also limited USF players to only 1 I&R pathfinder squad at a time?
I mean there's so many options to balance this unit and they picked a very poor choice IMO.