The Galaxy is big and slow. The Defiant is small and fast. The Intrepid is in the middle.
It really depends on your play-style. Most people get a little frustrated by the Galaxy at first because it turns like a square boulder rolls: slowly and with a lot of effort. Of course it has 7 weapons slots so you can do a lot of beam damage without needing to turn too much. It's a good durable ship. Just a little frustrating at times.
The Intrepid is nimble but has less Hull and direct firepower. I actually often choose it for my Captain ship because I can put Dual Beams on it without feeling I'm not getting much use out of them. Plus I can use Science BOFFs to do various Debuffs to make it more offensively powerful.
And, of course, it all depends on your Captain and the BOFFs you have. Galaxy has more Eng BOFF, and so on. So if you have mostly Eng BOFFs you'd be better off with a Galaxy. Likewise if you had mostly Tac BOFFs the Defiant will allow them to be used, and the same with Science.
Of course none of that probably helps, as there's no real way to say what ship's right for someone and their play-style.
This is great info. The toon I'm playing now is at level 27, so I've got to make that same choice soon. I'm leaning toward a Defiant right now. Did a Galaxy with my first character...and the Intrepid's from Voyager. Guess I could do one of the other science ships from that level.
For the OP: Everyone's right to complain about the turn rate on the Galaxy. Plan to load up on RCS consoles and the best turning impulse engines you can if you go that way. Once I did that and loaded up on overlapping phaser beam banks I liked the Galaxy.
I find it best to just pick a ship that you can enjoy using for the 10 minutes it takes to go from Captain to RA. Other than it being fugly, I hate flying the Galaxy class ships at that level. I'd prefer one of the other two.
I went with an Intrepid as an Eng and I never regretted it for a second. I had more fun with that ship than I did my big slow Galaxy class(which I bought later).
Well, I chose the Intrepid. I can't remember when destroying ships was this much fun. The speed and quickness is mind blowing, and the consoles that are outfitted hits the enemy ships with weapons where they are mostly done before really firing a shot.
Thanks to everyone who replied. You didn't have to, but you helped me out tremendously, and because of your input, I made the right choice.
Who says STO fans are not helpful? I wish they would. LOL
I prefer the galaxy. It takes tons of damage while dishing out considerable hurt. Nothings like flying into a formation of enemies popping some defensive offensive cooldowns and taking out large groups of npcs solo. I sit at the top of the charts for damage and healing in pvp with the galaxy just as often. Speeds not a problem, it just means the fast enemies come to you.