So Cruisers and Science ships have gotten several unique and cannon options both at T3 and T5. Escorts have only gotten versions of ships that were already in game. The Nebula, D'Kyr, Excelsior, and the Galaxy-X all present substantially different options for Cruisers and Science vessels. Escorts have been missing matching ships.
I have been waiting anxiously for any interesting new Escort ship. I think that the class has lots of potential, but is sorely under explored. The Jem'Hadar ship looked like a very interesting take on what an Escort could be. It may be a bit over powered, but there has to be a reason for you to spend your C-Points.
It is very disappointing to see the first honestly new Escort in the game added as an ultra rare result of gambling C-Points rather than a viable option to us Escort captains who have been waiting patiently (as if we were Klingons).
"Q: Will this ship go into the C-Store later?
A: We are not planning to put this ship into the C-Store for direct sale, at least within the coming year. It will be available via the Red Holiday Gift during this event, then it will no longer be available for some unknown period of time. We may decide to make it available again via a similar item late in 2012."
You don't have to gamble your C-points in a major way - I bought 5 Winter packs, some with the C-Points I had left and a couple with converted Dilithium.
I was very lucky in that I got the Ship as well as the Holo Boff and a few other bits of Rare Mark XI gear.
You also get a Winterbox at the end of running the race if you win where you also get special rewards and I think the ship is also in those.
I see how some people are upset, but on the other hand you are can get the ship for nothing and not spend any real money if you convert your Dilithium.
Just my thoughts.
If it's all but guaranteed that you will get one after running a few races, that's not too big of an issue. I could consider it like a limited FE series reward. It would still stink that our first new Escort is so rare, but it would not be rage inducing.
My reading of the Dev Blog and FAQ suggest that these are intended to be ultra rare. In the Blog, JHenig states that only a few will be found and this is the only way to acquire them. We will not be seeing many of them fly around the galaxy.
Kudos to you for getting one, but I fear the rest of us may not be so fortunate.