I asked a few VAs today, and with the help of friends, they only took their first ship, and leveled with it, saving all the other dilithium for their va ship, lol. Thats one way toi do it, and it for sure adds in more team playing, but I don;t think this is a good idea in the long run
Pretty much people used their T2 ships to Captain and went with a T4 ship (which isn't entirely useless in T5), or they went the extra mile in playing T2 all the way to Admiral and then had enough for a T5 ship.
The other routes people went was buying a T5 Excelsior or going Dilithium hunting at T2 and bought a T3 ship and went T3 all the way to T5 and afford a new ship.
I'll be honest, I don't know what Cryptic is planning. But if this is the future, then its obvious that they are pressuring more on people to buy the Tier .5 ships (+1) than using the old standards by encouraging human greed to surface and buy on impulse.
To be honest, I wish they made ships have not just better stats and BO slots, but each ship bringing a unique aspect of play that suits player's tastes more.