Well, when I came to this game in F2P, I had just left Battlestar Galactica Online. I was dissatisfied with the emphasis away from Vipers and on really stupid mini-Battlestars. I used to be a Viper pilot (partly the reason I still call players in ships "pilots") and used to the high damage roles in a fighter.
Well, I decided to do something different. After flying a bunch of similar ships like the Viper, with high damage output and turn rates, I eventually decided that the best ship is a cruiser, at least for me. I liked the looks, I liked the survivability, I liked the tankiness.
13 months later, and I'm still flying cruisers. Despite the nerfs, until true cruiser piloting becomes infeasible and dangerous, I'm sticking to cruisers.