personally I look on all this with a postive light. Too many players indicates that the game is exceeding the devs expectations in terms of popularity. More popularity = greater growth = more revenue = more content.
As for the crashes, yes it sucks, but no they don't have to give us anything in terms of compensation. That is entirely down to them to decide.
If I was Cryptic, I'd be holding off on any announcements regarding compensation until the first month is over. Then it can all be calculated up.
First time since launch I've been unable to play due to a crash. A first for every mmo I've played, they all had many more crashes that lasted for the first few months while their engineering and dev teams worked to improve the hardware/code. While Cryptic will no doubt have crashes I've seen dramatic improvement just in the last week alone.
Single shards while not as easy as multiple smaller clusters are in the end more fun for players.
Am I the only one who's launcher correctly reports server up to down, but never reflects when the server comes back online? I killed a lot of the open beta and headstart thinking they were down but when I logged in expecting to timeout I got in.
Does anyone know if they even have a auto-refesh cycle (as suggested in the briefing "Please keep an eye on this page for updates and notification when Star Trek Online is available again.")?