I list the following proposal (based on suggestions listed earlier in the thread).
Single Beam Array -------> 180 degree arc, low dps
Dual Beam Bank ----------> 90 degree arc, medium dps
Dual Heavy Beam Bank ----> 45 degree arc, high dps
Beam Turret -------------> 360 degree arc, low dps
Single Cannon -----------> 180 degree arc, low dps
Dual Cannon -------------> 90 degree arc, medium dps
Dual Heavy Cannon -------> 45 degree arc, high dps
Cannon Turret -----------> 360 degree arc, low dps
----- New Weapon Types: -----
Dual Heavy Beam Bank and Beam Turret (equivalent of the Dual Heavy Cannon and Cannon Turret respectively).
Single Beams/Cannons and Dual Beams/Cannons share an equal amount of power drain (10 per weapon). Dual Beams/Cannons have a higher dps potential than Single due to it's narrower firing arc. Best suited for ships with a low turn rate.
Dual Beams/Cannons have the same power drain as Single, with increased dps potential, and a narrower firing arc. Best suited for ships with an average turn rate.
Dual Heavy Beams/Cannons have a higher power drain (12-14 per weapon), with the highest dps potential, and the narrowest firing arc. Best suited for ships with a high turn rate.
The above changes, effectively removes the limitation of only having cannons on Escorts. Since the inception of Star Trek Online, this limitation has gradually been pushed aside. Certain Cruisers already have the ability to use cannons, as do certain Science ships or Carriers.
Cannons will have a higher rate of fire than beams, whereas beam weapons will have higher damage per shot fired.
The changes are aimed at leveling the playing field between various weapon types (and in some cases, adding new weapon types to the game, such as the Dual Heavy Beam Bank, and the Beam Turrets), and allowing the player to choose the flavor for his/her ship as they see fit. (thanks alexindcobra)
Two equally geared ships (setup as beam ship vs cannon ship) should theoretically have the same overall dps potential, with the cannon setup being more burst dps, and the beam setup being more sustained dps.
Another result of the above, is making ships appear "more canon" while not making them substantially weaker/stronger than others. A Prometheus Class (thou an Escort by STO standards), is more appropriately fitted with beam weaponry, while a Defiant Class (also an Escort) is more appropriate with cannon weaponry. Overall, the two ships should have a similar dps potential if equally geared.