Still wrong, the VA leveling down works better, the other way the low level players get more hps and a little more damage, but still have less weapons and no abilities. Also the torpedo you mention is survivable at least in cruisers, I've taken the hit from it and recovered due to boff powers, as have many other folks.
They get buffed up. They may still have the same ship but they can still do damage to the VA ships. My experience with matching the lower level players is that you still end up with higher level enemies. Especially after a map switch. Except now instead of having 5 high level players, you have 5 low level players and a bunch of high level ships.
I have to disagree with this approach. It is much better to level down an admiral than level up a Lieutenant.
I know what you are referring to with the map switching, I have this problem all the time. Be sure your lower level squad leader is initiating conversations and map switches first. It should help avoid you entering the instance first and spoiling the levels.
I hate the squad / team leader level matching range. It needs to be expanded or eliminated so long as you are on the same map. It is far too easy to get separated when dealing with a massive mob of NPCs.
You can still hamstring yourself more when the sidekick down in level. Set you power to Balanced. Turn off autof-fire to all but one weapon fore and aft. Limit the use of your BO abilities. Just adjust what you do as you do battle.