Ground combat was clunky enough before this was removed. This only makes it more irritating. It might be ok if there were more powers to use but it's really spamming the '1' key and waiting for cooldowns.
No idea why they removed it, no response from Cryptic, no answer to the many people asking about more autofire for space weapons either. And this was brought up during betas. Come on Cryptic! this will not go away by just ignoring it!