The corsair flight deck cruiser is pretty nice. If you like cruisers and are willing to spend CP, I think it's a great choice.
You only need to buy a pet once, and you have it forever. The ship will come with a set of Tacyon Drones, but you can purchase To'Du fighters, shield repair drones, power siphon drones, etc from the vendor in the Qo'nos Shipyard. You will only ever need one set of any type of pet, they have unlimited uses. They will die in combat, but you can relaunch them as many times as you want.
On the subject of pets, the advanced version available in the dilithium store are a great purchase. I used Advanced Tu'doj and advanced fer'jai frigates, and they were a huge upgrade on the base version.
I'm not sure what you've been hearing, but the cruiser definitely has shields. The drones are a little fragile, but you can relaunch them pretty frequently, so it shouldn't be an issue.
I never played KDF very long, but never regretted buying the Corsair.
It's a nice hybrid between a cruiser and a carrier, having advantages of both, and nearly zero of their disadvantages.
Always think of pets like semi-intelligent Torpedos (they die a lot, doing good damage; and sometimes don't do what you command them).
Advanced pets are worth their buck (it takes just 4 full days of dilithium conversion), having several options can be very nice depending on your role on the battlefield.
For PVE in a you can't beat those Orion Slavers. I truly love the look of the Corsair FDC too.
That being said the Vor'Kang is nice, you can use the skin on your Vor'Cha Refit and the Isometric charge can be fun. But I'd personally take the Corsair.
I was once DKnight1000, apparently I had taken my own name so now I'm DKnight0001. If I ask you a question it is not an insult but a genuine attempt to understand why. When I insult you I won't be discreet about it, I will be precise and to the point stupid.