I've been following this thread for a while (since it was posted in fact) and I figured I'd finally post my take on the entire debate. First off I'd like to say that I do fly both cruisers and escorts on my tac captain so I have considerable experience with both ship types (not an expert by any means, but I know them pretty well). I don't think that the issue is actually with cruisers themselves. The problem lies in the games healing and damage resistance skills. The best tanking skills in the game (based on my experience) are; Tactical Team, Emergency Power to Shields, Rotate Shield Polarity, Transfer Shield Strength, and Hazard Emitters. All these skills are available with a Lt slot. That means that every escort in the game has access to most, if not all of these skills. So the only thing that actually makes cruisers tankier then escorts is the fact that they have slightly higher shield modifiers and more hull hit points.