For some time Cryptic has managed to stay away from putting any game-altering items in the C-store. Even with the few latest rounds of releases nothing "game breaking" has really been released. If we were Romans or, better yet, Trojans C-store releases would merely be "fluff".
I say that "if we were" line because regardless of being "fluff" or not, different emotes, ship skins, bridge officers, really anything in the C-store, DOES offer a more enriched and satisfying player experience. It's for this reason that I'm going to take the opinion that C-store items ARE game altering.
With that said, STO and any game offering micro transactions, really do become a game of rich vs. poor. Sure, it's easy to say this being on the unemployed end of the player spectrum, but even when I was making $65k/yr I was in love with the micro-transaction system used in Perfect World International and I honestly believe that a similar model would do well here.
Currently, the only way to gain C points is directly through the website for cash. My proposal would be to introduce an "energy credit for C-point" exchange into the game. This allows players to buy C points and sell leftovers, or even all of them, on the exchange for energy credits. Conversely, it allows people without the extra cash, a means of buying C-store items. 7-day sales, offering real content items that are traded incrimentally for, these features allow for profit to be made through this trading process as well.
I dunno, I just think the game enhancing nature of C-store purchases makes it worth looking into a system by which all can experience at least some of the enhancements.
For those wondering, no, this isn't whine. I have my Galaxy X, I have my T5 cruiser skins and some bridge packs, I still manage to get the "cool stuff". Please feel free to build upon or to take in a different direction, my idea about this.