I was always a sci/sci guy(beta, and release). Was away for a while and came back and felt weaker than I was before(I am pvp oriented). 2 days ago I was so frustrated with how things were going that I talked myself into buying the C-Store Excelsior refit. After 5 arenas, 3 hours in a war zones, and 5 seperate compliments on how strong I was, I went and respec'd out of my now unnecessary(because I cant use them) science skills and am probably never going back to one of those underpowered POS sci ships(cept maybe special circumstances). Don't get me wrong, you wont have any trouble in PVE, but PVP is ROUGH in one unless maybe you only run with good premades. Sci ships need 4/4 weapon slots, or atleast 4/3 to be viable. You just can't do decent damage in one with only 3/3.
True enough, but they're supposed to make up for it with their shield bonuses, and you can still optimize the heck out of it if you pay attention to the math. Back before SB24 was turned into a queued fleet action, I used to go in there and could usually get the top score, with my sci ship. I'd only be outclassed if an escort came in who knew what he was doing. No way to compete with that.
Granted, most PVPers know what they're doing, so sci is at a disadvantage for DPS, but it can still do well with a little planning.