Every time I'm in a Deep Space Encounter or Fleet Action, I'm spamming the crud out of my abilities -- everything is almost always on cooldown, while at the same time I see the big cruiser painlessly floating around shooting at everything with his nifty beams doing about 3/4 of the damage I do but with 3x the shielding and and hull strength I do.
I like the escort; I love how frantic the gameplay is, but for all you people out there requesting a death penalty, please think of your poor, fragile, Escort friend that sees the respawn timer a dozen times more often than you do.
If there is to be a death penalty, either:
1) buff Escort shields and/or hulls,
2) buff Escort weaponry to be on-par with how weak their defenses are (glass cannon rather than glass pistol),
3) make the Death Penalty a weak one (repair system, ok, but please don't take XP, boffs, or items).
I'd really like to see all 3 of these happen, but one would be a step in the right direction.