I think Hull Regen out of combat only is a reasonable stance.
There are ample BO skills to patch up the hull in combat.
From the realism (or rather, ST credibility POV), since it would be difficult to effect repairs while the ship is being rocked by explosions, doing violent maneuvers and so on, I think it's reasonable that this requires special effort & dedication.
As for tanking - geez! Do you want to make this even more like every other (fantasy) MMO?
Cos I don't!
My Hull Repair quickkey is working only sporadically. All too often since the latest updates, when I click the Quidk Key for it, all it does is start the clock and doesn't do any repair. It was working very well only a few weeks ago.
At the moment, the skill is suppose to restore over 4000 pts to the hull and it's not doing squat in several recent space battles and it's quite frustrating.