I've been flying this little guy exclusively on my new Ferengi. I just crafted two DHC IIs and I'm having no problems in combat with the bigger guys. Honestly, it feels like playing an Escort pre-release. I've tried it on my VA, but he's an engineer and I could tell his abilities just were not going to complement this play style. So I started a new Tac toon.
I'm sure this gets a bit tougher after Lt. Who else flies a fighter/shuttle to normal missions? What is your performance like?
However, at higher levels it becomes much more difficult. Still fun mind you, but you won't be taking anything down in one at captain level.
Bah, I played a Tac in a shuttle from level 2 all the way to level 31. Once I hit captain I jumped in a Defiant simply because I was enamored with the idea of making a torpedo boat, not because shuttles couldn't hack it anymore.
Looking at the shuttles you might see the low hull (which is like 12k at Captain), the low shield facings and lack of any Lieutenant+ abilities as a handicap, but shuttles simply rock in PvE.
It's all in the turn rate; you can outmaneuver most ships, which means you can stick to one shield facing and just pound away. And yes, the weapons are a bit gimped, but if you manually fire your torps when their shields drop you can take down any normal encounter.