to the OP, if you figured to come back over a year later and have an edge on players that have been playing the entire time you've been gone, or even clear back to beta when you started, then don't you think that may have been a little much to hope for? The game has evolved quite a bit since when you left, and most the good pvp players around have evolved with it over that time span. Most of us here will help you to get caught up on what you need to know. If you cant take the time to grind the gear you need to be competitive however, then I doubt our advice will get you very far either...
STF grinds unfortunately are part of the game that has evolved while you were gone. While most of us dont like it either, we deal with it and continue to pew pew.
Ran 'Infected' space. Not too bad at all, certainly not compared to how the STF's apparently used to be.
Anyhow, on my 2nd run-through (normal), I got this. (EDIT: Actually, I got the Mk XI version)
Now if I could just figure out how I mysteriously get 1-hit-killed by the Tactical Cube and sometimes the main Gate at least once per run-through even with shields up and no hull damage prior (oh, and sometimes, even out of range!). (Elite)