While searching for something completely different, I stumbled across this thread which has been archived when the forums were wiped for the release. I found something very interesting there:
I immediately starting maintaining my Rebalance Shields, if it stopped, I hit my hotkey again (you MUST NOT stop Rebalancing for an Escort using these tactics). Why did this work? Because STO does not increase shield regen on damaged sides just because you have undamaged sides.The regen rate is flat, by using Rebalance, you're able to inject that spare regen directly into the weak sides and let your regen get all 4 sides at once. This is also why the high regen shields work MUCH better than the high capacity shields.
I always thought it was just a psychological thing, making myself believe my damaged shield quadrants would regenerate faster when hitting the button (i.e. the middle of the shield vector power distribution display)... no, it was totally increasing regeneration on those.
I always thought it would just reset the power distribution to be even across all four shield quadrants if you have, for example, put everything on your forward shields. Then I found that the power distribution to a single quadrant only works for a couple of seconds until you have to do it again; now I see what actual use Distribute Shield Power has (and somehow feel dumber for shoving the idea into the area of "typical MMO superstition")!
And now I realize, you actually have to spam that button always when you are not selectively assigning shield power to one quadrant. Can I please map this to the space bar in addition to "Fire All Beams"? I don't think I really want to spam over and over two buttons all the time while fighting instead of only one (which is already a borderline stupid mechanic)...