And yes, I said "C-Store". Back when they were C-Points, the Dil Exchange was 100-200 dil per CP, and ships were not ridiculously expensive.
Ships were the same $20-25.00 a year ago that they are today. Since Dilithium has been added to the game C-Store ships have not really gone up in price - though you can now buy 3-packs of ships if you must have all the consoles - but single C-Store ships are the same general dollar cost they have always been. The C-Store ships were $15-25.00 back when the game was owned by Atari, too - and there was no way to grind in-game currency to reduce the price. You simply paid the $15-25.00.
Right now Dilithium is exchanging for around 100 for 1 Zen. That means I can buy twice as much as I could when it was exchanging for 200. 8,000 refined Ore currently makes me 80 Zen per day. which is 2,400 Zen per month. So just casually playing you can get one $25.00 ship a month for basically free. Someone like me who routinely refines 15-20,000 per day gets a free ship pack every month - though they don't have ship packs every month.
Anyone who thinks things were cheaper "in the old days" just has not been paying much attention.
STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.