Can't really argue with any of that. That said, I'd say the Gal-R might be joint 1st for survivability, what with it's impressive turn rate when separated as well as it's +1 Engineer slot. Having given the ship a bit more of a try, I've warmed to it a bit.
Forgetting the offensive capabilities of the Excelsior for a second, it's got to be one of the most enjoyable cruisers to fly (outside of a separated Gal-R).
If the rumoured BO station rethink of the old tier 5's goes ahead, it'll be interesting to see where the Sovereign will end up being ranked. It may give the ship back it's self respect or doom it to the scrap heap.
I mostly agree with this assessment, but I'd like to double-tap on the Galaxy-R -- it's an odd bird and it takes a lot of work to get the best out of it.
It seems to help if you're comfortable with a variety of ship types first. The BO configuration is like a Battle Cruiser, so if you know what works for those it helps with the Galaxy-R. It mostly does damage like an Assault Cruiser, by staying alive a long time and using sustained fire rather than burst DPS. With the saucer separated it handles like an escort, so practice with that style of dogfighting instead of the typical slow orbit of cruisers is really helpful (though I find that in the Galaxy-R I use Engine Batteries, EPtE, and EM less for fleeing and more for running down fleeing escorts). With the saucer attached the Galaxy-R is more of a tank/support ship like a Star Cruiser.
I find that anything which boosts engine power is a bigger help on the Galaxy-R than other cruisers. The annoyance of not being able to use Full Impulse with the saucer detached can be largely mitigated by running at over 100 engine power, especially when you consider that the Galaxy-R receives a bonus to impulse speed. Higher engine power also helps with the poor maneuverability with the saucer attached. It's kind of strange having a cruiser which can have speed, and make good use of it.
I've only known one player to get the most out of the gal-X and he was insane with it.
for everyone else, it's a lemon.
As for the OP. I agree.
I'm missing my star cruiser but I'm enjoying the Excelsior. The thing I like about it is all up i've lost 4k hull healing over my sovereign class (Drop Engie team III for Engie team 1) and got a LTC tac slot.
(The best thing is when your transwarp fails ^.^ )