Crewman: Sorry sir, just used Evasive Maneuvers it wont be ready for another 30 seconds.
All kidding aside, I understand the limitations of the game, yet I cant help but feel extremely hampered by the restrictions placed on BO Consoles. I think that for Merits that we should be able to upgrade either an entire console or a at least choose which skill to place in that console location.
Solution 1) You pay 500 Merits* to upgrade an Ensign Console to a Lt Console. You pay 1000 Merits* to upgrade a Lt Console to a Lt. Cmdr Console...etc.
Solution 2) You pay 500 Merits* to be able to use a Lt BO ability in an Ensign Station. You pay 1000 Merits* to use a Lt Cmdr BO ability in a Lt Station...etc.***
*These are arbitrary costs, I chose them because they i feel are pretty reasonable (to each his own, I realize that may be expensive to someone else, but it shouldn't be 1 Merit either).
***Purchasing the ability to choose the skill remains in effect for the console, should you decommission the particular officer, whom ever you choose to replace him, you can still choose which abilities to use.
I can see both these upgrades being tied with the ship. Associating the upgrade to the ship allows you to switch BOs in and out with different abilities. Yet allows you to keep the Upgrade. I can see this not really useful on any ship below a Captain level, but it gives us more flexibility as Captains and Rear Admirals. Afterall I think it is ridiculous that as a Captain, My BOs are all Cmdrs, yet for most of them I can only use 1 or 2 out of 4 abilities.
I agree that we should be able to upgrade those consoles. The prices you were suggesting seem very low in my opinion. No one wants an Assault cruiser with two eng commander and two tact commander and a sci commander station. I would want one but I would have to consider the community. The ship would be overpowered and unbalanced in pve and pvp.
I could see a one time offer of 5000 CP or 30000 starfleet merits for only one console upgrade to the next higher level. I would love nothing more than to have a Lieutenant Commander tactical sation on my Sovereign-Class. I could finally use HYT III.
Unfortunedly we will never see this ingame because of the balancing issue.