This may have been suggested in the past, but I can't find anything so...here goes.
If there is one thing I can suggest with skill points, especially if you're going to put a cap on how many we can obtain, it's this: Don't force players to spend them to gain a rank.
Case and point:
I was at Ccommander 9. I had spent points into all the skill areas that I found useful. Weapons, abilities, etc. that I enjoyed using the most. However, I had two more ranks to plow through to reach Captain 1. I reach Captain..but can't become Captain until I spend those points on skills?
My choices were:
Abilities I never use and never planned to.
Weapons I don't use and never planned to.
Ship enhancements for a class of vessel I was about to change out of at next rank.
So I ended up having to spend points on an ability I still don't use at Admiral 1.
My suggestion is thusly to let players gain ranks without having to spend their skill points. Let them put them towards the next rank of skills when they get there, or save them up for some ability they look forward to later on.
I get to Commander 10...I have 600 skill points left over I don't want to spend...no problem. I can spend that on a Captain 1 skill. Sure it might only get me...2 ticks...but it's 2 ticks that are more useful than wasting them on abilities just to gain a rank.
This would also alleviate a little bit, not all of course, of the complaints about lack of skill points at Admiral. You can save up some points for that extra point in Tricobalt Devices or Hull Repair that you want. It would also be useful when respecs are put out. You can redistribute points to focus on the abilities you use and love the most.
Thats the whole point of the system, so when you finish as admiral you only have 1.7 possible skills, what your suggesting would wreck the system., yeah sucks that you cant carry points over but thats just the way it is.
I think the idea is also to make it so that people can't get away with spending 0 points on ground skills. A lot of people want to avoid ground skill completely, but with the current system it's hard to do that without spending sp on space skills you don't need at all. Hopefully that means that when it comes time to do the STF's, people won't be totally screwed in the ground portions.