Aka "Why is that piece of crud trying to fight with the big boys!?"
Now as you all know cryptic seems to like the refits being pretty expensive (Both real life cash wise and if you go that route, IG Time wise) Probably as a way to keep the majority in "Stock" ships (And to make more money off a subscription based mmo) but we're not here to debate that. Thus I'd like to suggest a cheap T5 Refit "Trio" a set of ships that could be obtained with a bit less money and earned with a fair bit less time involvement into the game. Perhaps with less fancy abilities as their more expensive variants.
Now obviously a "Cheaper Refit" can't be given to the Rear admiral ships, and a Miranda or NX wouldn't even be remotely close to being able to stand up for a second against a Neg'var. That leaves us two tiers to really work with, the Tier 2s and 3s...
Personally I think that the Tier 2s would be perfect for a "Cheap" Refit, They (Except the Conny but lets not talk about that) are relatively modern, and I've already seen people advocating a T5 Nova. The Sabre is a beautiful little ship too.
Now I'm not gonna go into listing of specific stats because I'm not an expert, just a couple "Ability" Ideas. Obviously they'd need their Bridge officer ranks boosted up (and a 5th BO) but that shouldn't be an issue besides what ranks you want.
Consoles would, well I dunno that's a stat issue I'm not good with probably just normal configuration for a T5 or something.
Right onto my favorite ship, the Sabre:
Obviously the Sabre (I spell it Sabre, deal with it ) is not a ship meant to stand up to T5 ships alone, its just not built for it (In spite of being about the size of a Defiant) Its an Escort through and through, its one of those ships that I would see working teams to support other ships, so that's my suggestion for it...
Instead of giving the Sabre additional weapons give it the ability to work in a small wing of like three Sabres (Maybe with a longish recharge ability to bring in reinforcements in those particularly long fights. ) Sort of like a poor mans Multi vector assault.(Abit not as well as the purpose built MVAM) It would be shown traveling in sector space as a lone ship, but once entering battle it would spend the battle fighting as three ships. (With the 2 AI ships being adjusted for balance) When your ship is destroyed I guess control would switch over to one of the others till the last one is destroyed.
The Connie, like I said earlier, I won't touch on, but maybe restricting the refit to the Vesper or Excalibur and going from there, skill wise, I'm stumped, maybe just an improved engineering ability.
The Nova has been touched on by other people but I did like the idea of being able to shut down its shields for a few seconds (10 was stated) and restart them at full strength.
Price wise I was thinking about 500ish Atari Points (Or cryptic points or whatever after they change publishers) In-game acquiring wise I was thinking a Thousand or two of those Badges of exploration 5th Class that don't seem to be useful for anything meaningful.