I could deal with the crew death penalty. It's something that may make cruisers considerably more viable than they are now in the long term.
One thing that needs adjustment first: The crew mortality rate. Right now one hit kills or injures almost a quarter of your crew. Heaven help you if you lag, rubber-band, and get caught near an exploding enemy ship. Maybe increase the injury rate and crew recovery time, and reduce the body count a little?
Honestly, as the game settles out, what I expect we'll see is the Death Penalty we currently have...
Much lower crew mortality (ie. maybe only mortality on actual death) but a much lower crew regen rate. Enough so that going back to a base to replenish is actually justified. Maybe with an option to replenish your crew without going back to a Starbase for energy.
I doubt we'll see a major time/money sink for death, though. I'm not sure if what we have right now is quite as stringent as what they intended but I also think they didn't intend to have a heavy DP and that they might have lightened it a bit more right now because of bugs and because they're expecting a lot of players who are new to MMOs/video games.