I think its a little retarded that new players can't buy phaser turrets from the Federation unless they have marks of exploration. The basic vendor in Ship Requisitions doesn't sell any at all, and the other one that sells greens has them, but wants the marks. Of course this is exploited by crafters and all the turrets on auction are listed at least 5 times their base price, 513 credits.
I know it might not be considered a big deal for any older players, who probably sleep on beds stuffed with millions of credits, however newbies have a hard time even getting Mk I gear, and a turret on the back of your ship can increase your DPS a little bit, which is important if all you have is a light cruiser with 3 weapon slots.
Again I know this is stupid. But it would help newbs who have a hard time scraping up credits, and want a new gun.
If you're new and must have a certain kind of weapon that costs Energy Credits, try to get into a few PvP matches. They include Energy Credits as part of the reward for participating, even if you don't win. Lower level Federation-side PvP isn't too bad when the queue is moving.
If PvP scares you for some reason, you can farm data samples in exploration zones. A single rare can be sold on the Exchange for decent credits.
Just some suggestions. I know a lot of people won't buy anything with EC until they hit VA1, myself included. But do what you'd like!