Actually, I've got the Galaxy-X with the Venture-class skin, and that thing is DEAD sexy. I'd cruise around in that for my cruiser, but I've read a lot of hate for the Galaxy-X dreadnaught in it being underpowered for its level, so I've been avoiding dragging it out again.
EDIT: Still doing research. is Scatter Shot better than Rapid Volley?
Crap all this talk of ship builds, and I haven't asked about my skills. My character build is probably crappy too.
The big problem with the Galaxy-X is that it has almost identical mobility stats to the Ody. The Ody gets enough hate for that itself, while having 2 different console abilities which minimize it as an issue (the Aquarius can deal damage regardless of the mothership, and separation provides a huge buff to mobility). The Galaxy-X has it even worse than that though: the things that are supposed to make it unique and powerful are DHCs and the Phaser Lance, both of which have tiny arcs that it has incredible difficulty using. And of course the Gal-X also lacks the extra hull and shields that the Ody gets (1.0 vs 1.15 shield modifier, 40k vs 42k base hull). So in the end the Gal-X is sort of like the basic Assault Cruiser (same boff and console layouts), just a little weaker (because of the poor turn). I'd take the free Ambassador over either the Gal-X or Ody pretty much any day. Actually, that's a nice free ship that you should definitely consider. It has solid mobility, a fair number of tac slots, and a LtC sci for that optional-saving Gravity Well 1.
Cannon Scatter Volley vs Cannon Rapid Fire is one of those things that people will argue about a lot, because there isn't a clear answer. CRF is better against a single target, unless that target fires a heavy plasma torp that the CSV would be able to intercept. CSV provides higher DPS anytime it can hit 2 or more targets, but in doing so it attracts additional agro that the shooter may or may not be able to handle. Personally I always run CSV and consider it superior, but people will argue with that.
For skills, there will probably be some differences between the best cruiser and escort specs (although maybe not, I often forget how easy non-scis have it, since for a sci ship you have to run as much of the escort stuff as possible plus sci stuff). I can still give some general guidelines though. The following skills should be at least rank 6: Weapons Training, Energy Weapons, Projectile Weapons (unless you're using all energy), Maneuvers, Targeting Systems, Hull Repair, Structural Integrity, Shield Emitters, and Shield Systems. The following skills should be at least rank 3: Attack Patterns (definitely go higher with the escort), Energy Weapons Specialization, Warp Core Efficiency, Electro-Plasma Systems, Impulse Thrusters, Warp Core Potential, Shield Performance, and Weapon Performance. Any of the skills I said were minimum 6 are good candidates for maxing out, and most of the minimum 3 ones will benefit from as much as you can put into them. The exceptions are the power boosting skills, which have negligible benefit from the last 3 levels. Also to be considered: Hull Plating/Armor Reinforcements (especially for a cruiser), Projectile Specialization, Auxiliary Performance, Engine Performance, Power Insulators, Threat Control (just for the cruiser), and Flow Capacitors (superb with Tetryon or Polaron weapons, no point otherwise). You can plan out a build with this tool: http://www.stoacademy.com/tools/skillplanner/ and get an idea of the effects of all the skills from this: http://home.comcast.net/~amicus/Skil...%20Effects.htm