Not really when you consider the fact that Cryptic chose to make an Excelsior class that tops the Sovereign class. You could just say that the Raptor was redesigned cause why would you be using out dated cloaking technology so far in the future?
Meh, anachronistic conversation now as I think I asked that question initially before the Excelsior T5 jibba jabba came out?
I wouldn't even know where to begin approaching such a discussion in March of 2011 with the game and the ships the way they are now.
I flew a raptor with my KDF character up until just now when I got a Nausicaan overpriced ship from the C-Store because my character is Nausicaan and I wanted him to fly his home planet's ship.
So I had this bridge officer with Beam Overload 3 on it, and I really wanted to use it. It came down to BOP or Raptor, and I went with Raptor (I dislike relying on H&R.) I've been very, very happy with my Raptor. The damage is better than I expected by a long shot. Basically, I fly a Raptor because I'm a fan of big spike damage but I want enough defense to hold my own in a drag-out fight.
There is a very nice balance with the Raptor.
It has good dps, strong turn rate, and decent defense ... and is as fun as my Fed Defiant.
Just as deadly as the defiant, not nearly as maneuverable, but much more robust when it comes to surviving. I is sort of like a Fleet/Defiant Hybrid, Defiant Boff layout Fleet console layout. Unfortunately I am finding it difficult to slot BOff powers in my cannon Tric build mostly the ensign skills.
I find I stuff a second tac team in my extra ensign slot. That way I have a more consistent use of it (for me at least) as one is ready while the other is still in self cool down.
I do this on both my Raptor and Defiant.
Since I am not running any regular torps or beams most of the ensign skills are useless for now I am running 3 TT. I am running CRF 1 and 2 with a CSV for just in case I run up against a spammer or plasma or Tric ship.
I have used both a Raptor and a BoP and prefer the Raptor. Both have their strong points and weaknesses. A tactical in a Raptor with the right setup can do huge damage quickly. Put that same character in to a BoP and you can set it up to tank in a fight better than the Fed's Fleet Escort. You will not out tank a Cruiser but you can outlast any Fed Escort.
As for cloaking both the BoP and Raptor will use it to attack and as most Klingon's know the cloak loses its advantage after the first attack run until you can get out of firing range of the enemy ship. Both the Raptor and the BoP use the same tactic to evade enemy fire and reengage their cloak to setup a new attack run.
The difference is that most of the time in a BoP you are finishing off the same target on the second attack run where as in the Raptor you have already destroyed the first target and are going after a second.
Put a Science character in a BoP and that becomes a different beast all together. With the BO options you have you can make a very frustrating build for PvP vs. any other ship and character combo in the game.
So I agree with what others have said in this post that preference of one ship over the other depends on character type and fighting style.
I wouldn't call the BoP tactics cowardly, but for a group of five Klingon (as in, players are klingons not just KDF) to be using remarkably Romulan tactics (Who the klingons hate) amused me in a space PVP match I did once .
As for my Gorn I plan to make with Season four? Will probably fly a raptor, haven't decided.