I'd love the option to turn them off. At the moment we are given 3 indications of our shield status - the blue circle around the ship, the shield status at the bottom of the screen and for those of us who are a little more dense then average it even speaks to you and tells you in text when one of your shields has just given out.
What I'd like to see eventually is for the ship to have dorsal and ventral shields and the ship to be able to dogfight properly like ST:BC and not like ST:Legacy.
We've been asking for this since closed beta. you don't have to get rid of it entirely, just give us the option to turn it off. Engine trails, too.
Heck, I'd even be happy if it just didn't show in screenshots, like the rest of the UI.