I'm not going to claim that I'm in love with everything having to do with the Rep system, but I don't fully agree with the complaint about 40 hour projects.
If that was in-game time, I'd be really upset. But it's real-time. Less than 2 days. It's not a heck of a lot different from the starbase projects in that respect. Sure it could be shorter, but anybody paying attention to what the devs were saying about it knew that they were time-gating it just like they time-gate the starbases. They don't want people with a ton of money and in-game resources throwing stuff at it and completing it in a month.
It's meant to be a long-term kind of thing that hooks people into coming back, not a "gotta grind it now" thing.
Hopefully Cryptic will listen to the feedback and scale the time back a little (among other things). But I don't expect those projects to take less than a day to complete and I doubt Cryptic will even go that far.
That said, I get the frustration from STF'rs who don't want to grind STF's all over again to get the gear. The grind may turn out to be less for new players in the long run, but you guys are stuck with it and I feel for you.
The problem isn't the countdown timer's length . It's the fact that countdown is there for everything you do ( every project and unlock item ) .What's the point of a store then ? It's an artificial mechanism to slow down progression,just like the refinement cap and the huge amount of dilithium sinks are . It's unimaginative design and shows a distinct lack of ideas. Apparently they put in this slowing mechanism to make sure folks won't become bored due to lack of content ,but it would be more prudent to make sure that doesn't happen by producing more content .The fact they put this into the game shows they have no plans whatsoever to speed up additional content-release .