Mixing weapon types can get costly in skill points (I know you are planning to get a phaser when you get one). I also rarely go over a 7 on any of the first two tiers of skills. The last 2 levels don't give you much bang for your buck.
I'll also second the EPS and Biofunction montitor consoles for an escort. The large power drain from the cannons is an issue, and with the small crews in escorts you need to keep them as healthy as possible. It's not like escorts have abundant hull points lying around.
I don't really have any problems with weapons drain is the thing regarding EPS. I'll pick up a biosystems console soon, i do lose crew at an almost unfunny rate. At the moment, i'm fine shooting rainbows because I can't yet skill into damage types.