currently I'm playing a Patrol Escort but I want to replace my ship with a Fleet ship.
I like to have a small maneuverable ship with lots of weapons, so it comes down to these two ships (I think):
the Fleet Patrol Escort (which is a better version of my current ship) and the Fleet Advanced Escort.
Since I don't want to invest 8 fleet ship modules to buy both, I have to choose carefully.
hard one actually...all are good ships. but the fleet patrol is just more universal. if you use the universal as a sci you do not miss out on much compared to the advanced. I use TSS1, HE1 and TBR1 for CC.
On the advanced (not the fleet version) i use a grav well for CC
+1 tac console slot is great for sure, but in my opinion if you havent got the multy vector console there is not much sense in getting that particular ship. So i would say fleet patrol escort.
Eventually I would use the 5th tac slot for another Tetryon Pulse Generator since I have no Multi Vector Console.
Compared to my current Patrol Escort, the fleet version would get me an additional Engineering Console slot which I could use for a RCS Accelerator or a Shield Emitter. Everything else could stay the same (even my Boffs wouldn't need to change).
I'm still not sure but I'm tending to the Fleet Patrol Escort. But I have still time to think this over because my Fleet still needs one level for the Advanced Fleet Escort. Maybe I get some more opinions until thin.
I would go with the Advanced Escort. but only doing it so, by buying the mvae, and for +1000 buying the fleet version (or you can look at it this way: for +1000 you get an account unlock on an endgame ship, and its console)
with the fae I would use grav well and mostly aoe abilities, it is a great cc ship. the patrol escort is better for tanking, but it looks not so nice, even with the extra skin.
however there is also the fleet tactical escort retro. it looks great (for me that is important ) it has the highest raw dps of any ship, it turns brilliant and so on. plus it is only +500 for the character unlock (definately worth it)