What is also inconvenient, is that beam boats can happily be above or below their target and operate to full effectiveness, where as torp boats and gun boats must come in from the sides. Attacking from above is an impossibility unless you corkscrew because of the tight attack angles. The amount of times I was in a position to attack Down onto a target but have to fly aaaaallll the way out, turn around, and fly aaaalll the way back, instead of just dropping a torp on the target's head to watch it go pop.
Just as a note, i have thought about this too but i think that the 45 degree torp angle applies vertically too, i at least have fired my torp's down.
I agree it looks like it is a lesser angle but i think that could be because you already are at an angle from above behind your ship when you fight, at least i don't have my camera placed straigt behind my rear.
But as someone said, this discussion could go on for ever just because people prefer different things. I think we should think about the ways that combat in this game is fun, it could be so much worse!