The recluse carrier isn't supposed to fill the role of a DPS boat, IMHO it's a area control ship. Some say the DPS from it is minimal, but couple sensor scan, attack pattern beta3 and tactical team the debuff is pretty nice, not just for the recluse, but for other ships too.
Wheras theres a better ship for almost any reason, the Recluse's highest potential is in bringing control and snare options or heavy healing to the field; it's a team player ship, not a solo boat. While soloboats are in fashion, and I do have one, I find the Recluse just as capable in any STF or Fleet Action, on any difficulty. In PvP you can run a full science VM3 shutdown build, and still have a spare LtC engineering skill. You can put cannons on it, you can have almost double the hull of an escort, it turns faster than the other ships in its class. If you put 3DHC's and 3turrets damage approaches escort level.
In my soloboat there's been plenty a time where I was whacked by a Borg crit with all hands lost, in the recluse, same Borg crit I can walk away with 15k hull while healing and maintain debuff support. Even with a tactical commander this ship survives far longer than any of my others.