I look at it from both angles. On the one hand I don't like that I can't generate dilithium like I used to, but on the other hand, I like the fact that they are making the older content more viable, but I don't like the fact that the dilithium was nerfed so much in the STFs. I do like that I actually have a solid goal to work for to get Mk12 Set gear, but I don't like that it takes a whole sh*t ton of dilithium (and an obscene amount of duty officers) to get. I like the marks system. I like the reputation system. I think that instead of blasting the dilithium rewards into oblivion for STFs, why not keep the old rewards, and then try to bring up the other game content (i.e. Breen, Section 31, Cardassian, Klingon Intelligence, Dominion, etc.). Mr. Stahl said that he would like to see players specialize in certain skill sets, and he also said that more reputation systems will be added as time progresses. If they could go to back to pre season 7 dilithium rewards for STFs, but also offer the similar rewards for the other factions in a reputation system, it would diversify the player base and the skill sets. Imagine a team where you could have 5 players with the same career path, but they could have different skill sets. The Breen for example specialize in energy drain in space and freezing weapons on the ground. To keep players from going around getting specialized in every reputation skill set, set the system up where you can only have one skillset at any given time. If you have the Breen skill set and you want the Dominion skill set, then you have to give up your Breen skills and start at Tier 1 on your Dominion skills. However, if you hit tier 5 on your Dominion skills, and you decide that you liked you Breen skills better, then you shouldn't have to start all over at the beginning for the Breen reputation.
If you really want to help the dilithium exchange and really bring in some cash for new content development (or for your ferarri fund whatever floats your boat), after you run a lock box, put that grand prize at the end of Tier 5 and make it a reputation project. Take the Jem'Hadar ship (the most desired ship in the game if I'm not mistaken), it runs in a lock box for a few months, players buy master keys trying to get the grand prize, after that lock box ends, it goes up as a Tier 5 project. If you want it, you have to put up 350,000 dilithium, 1,500 Dominion marks, 200 changeling lockets, 250 unrefined ketracel white, 50 tactical duty officers, and a fleet module. Some players are going to spend their entire paychecks, or their allowances, trying to buy enough zen to either get lucky with master keys, or to convert enough zen to dilithium. The ships you acquire through the reputation project do not come in reward boxes, but are placed directly in your shipyard so you don't have a bunch of guys trying to corner the market on Jem bugs or Galors (the Lock box ships should remain the same though, this way the exchange doesn't have to suffer). You're going to have players that are going to bust their humps to get those ships, but there are others that will absolutely refuse to put in that much work, and then there are those players that will save every last piece of dilithium they have to get one of those ships.
I'm not sure how players would feel about a system like this to be honest. On the one hand it quadruples the grinding that so many hate, but on the other hand, it offers some damn good rewards for that grind. What I like the most about a system like this is that it will diversify the skills sets so much more than what the current three career paths offer. I think it will also even the playing field in PVP and bring new blood into the PVP arenas. I have all Mk12 gear (including a MACO set), and I can handle elite STFs with little to no difficulty most of the time, but I'll be honest, I tend to stay away from PVP because I get my ass handed to me on a sliver platter by those guys that lurk in the PVP arena and spend all their time and/or money putting together that perfect PVP build, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way, but let's say that all of a sudden I have an ability derived from my Breen skill set where I can drain a significant portion of that PVP expert's energy or disables a subsystem for a certain amount of time, then I could actually have a chance against a guy like that. It would even the playing field. This coupled with having the environment play a role in combat (like asteriod collisions causing damage, or gas clouds having certain negative or positive effects, or even having enemies on the map hostile to both sides) would force the players to bring some real strategy and tactics to the PVP arena instead of focusing purely on having the best build.
Yes, these ideas would bring a hell of a lot more grind into STO, and I like many, don't always have the time or patience for grind, but it would also make the rewards for all that grinding worth while and maybe help pay for more story driven development. Some people are just impossible to make happy. You could put the lock box and c-store ships up for free to all who want them for a weekend and there would be someone complaining that it's messing up their immersion, or that the event didn't last as long as they thought it should've, but I think this would put a lot of complaints to rest and bring players who left back to the game.