This whole thread just supports the long-standing argument that it should be much easier to ascertain exactly how much benefit you're getting from consoles, equipment, passives, etc. It should either be broken down in complete detail in every view, or they need to provide one view that shows you everything and then hang a big neon sign on it so it's easy to find.
A better way to compare items against currently equipped ones would be great. Do what a lot of RPGs do and show what increases or decreases, and how much. This could get complicated since STO doesn't have the typical helmet, armor, gloves, boots, weapon, shield, accessory equipment structure. If you were looking at a weapon and flying a cruiser, the game would have to show eight different comparisons since you could potentially put the new item in any of those slots. If it could be done though, it would solve so much confusion.
As it stands, the only way to really know how much difference something makes is to run a controlled test and parse the results. And even that's iffy.