I've not found most space combat TOO difficult, but too easy? Not usually. For the most part, it's been about right. I've NEVER found a place I could walk away and let the game play itself, no way, no how.
Yes, I do know how to rebalance shields, change power settings and use auto-fire, thank you.
Try a nice Reman D'deridex on for size next time you're in the Alpha Centauri Sector Block. Those are tearing me apart no matter what I try. (Solo, Commander 1 -- the D'deridex shows as a -1 opponent. Tier 3 Science vessel (the tier with the Olympic/Hope/Horizon -- everyone seems to number the tiers differently.))