Disclaimers: Galaxy-R requires patience because of the bugs / occasional broken saucer features and it also requires a more experienced pilot. Excelsior can dramatically climb on the list in rare occasions where Attack Pattern Omega I is the determining factor that saves your ship. Galaxy-X is actually lower then the Sovereign in terms of survivability due to the 20% reduction in base turn rate however I factored in the fact you could always EPtE / evasive and re-cloak out of combat. Also it is unlikely that the Galaxy-X will sustain the first alpha hit in most PvP encounters. Honestly it was a tough choice to put the Galaxy-X above the Excelsior in terms of survivability. The Excelsior can have APO I and also turns better then any fed cruiser in the game with the exception of Galaxy-R separated. If you are running APO I the Excelsior's survivability position could be increased to #3 in many encounters and certainly at least equal to that of the Galaxy-X
Offensive / Tactical -
#4. Star Cruiser / Galaxy-X
Disclaimers: This is more straight forward with the exception of the Galaxy-R again requiring a competent pilot with adequate skill to take advantage of it's features. There are also certain bugs with the Galaxy-R that are beyond any Captain's control. You will also lose your tactical advantage if you blow up or a number of Cryptic bugs appear. However in some less frequently occurring set of circumstances the Galaxy-R could actually exceed the Excelsior in offensive capabilities even with one less LtC and tactical console slot. It would take another post to go over all the details but +10 Weapon power, +35% turn rate, increased offensive speed, added pet damage (when it's alive), etc. etc. Let's call that the exception however and not the rule.
Galaxy-X is actually inferior to the Star Cruiser in offensive capabilities in many circumstances but because of the cloak damage bonus and Phaser Lancer it could be on par with the Star Cruiser if piloted by a good player. Galaxy-X takes a major hit because it turns like the Galaxy-R when the saucer is connected. This is the absolute worst turn in the entire game at T5 level and to compensate for it you would have to go with other BO abilities thus losing offensive power or lose 2 Engineering console slots. This is just to equal a normal T5's cruiser turn rate in most circumstances.
The above lists were created based on factual information, experiences, along with my opinions from countless encounters in PvP verses the best players and teams STO has to offer, premade vs. premade team matchs, kerrat encounters, solo and group pug matches, 1v1's, etc. etc.
The above assessments are correct if the disclaimers are respected. Obviously the Excelsior is still new so more data needs to be collected to come to a final conclusion but it's not rocket science.
Note the order of the list depends heavily on your BO loadout, ship loadout, and player ability.
Example 1: A well built offensive BO Sovereign ship loadout could be less offensive and have less survivability then an Excelsior in certain circumstances where the Excelsior is running APO I.
Example 2: A Galaxy- X could easily be less defensive then all of the ships if the captain does not use the cloaking ability + EPtE in nasty situations.
Example 3: The Galaxy-R could drop dramatically on the list if the player is a beginner.
I am assuming the Captain flying any of these Cruisers will be knowledgeable, understand the mechanics of the game, and will setup their ship using one of the many decent but proven PvP loadouts.
edit: Final list based on overall purpose and ability of the ship.
Can't really argue with any of that. That said, I'd say the Gal-R might be joint 1st for survivability, what with it's impressive turn rate when separated as well as it's +1 Engineer slot. Having given the ship a bit more of a try, I've warmed to it a bit.
Forgetting the offensive capabilities of the Excelsior for a second, it's got to be one of the most enjoyable cruisers to fly (outside of a separated Gal-R).
If the rumoured BO station rethink of the old tier 5's goes ahead, it'll be interesting to see where the Sovereign will end up being ranked. It may give the ship back it's self respect or doom it to the scrap heap.
I've only known one player to get the most out of the gal-X and he was insane with it.
for everyone else, it's a lemon.
As for the OP. I agree.
I'm missing my star cruiser but I'm enjoying the Excelsior. The thing I like about it is all up i've lost 4k hull healing over my sovereign class (Drop Engie team III for Engie team 1) and got a LTC tac slot.
(The best thing is when your transwarp fails ^.^ )