I find my phasers rather competitive still thank you. :p
Actually their ability to randomly disable subsystems is not to be underestimated, since you cant predict whats going to happen it can screw an enemy up big time.
On top of that i also like keeping a Tricobalt in my Advanced Escort to launch near point-blank when the shields start failing.
I think Quantums are clearly the best general-purpose Kinetic weapon, both for their massive burst damage (unequaled by anything but a Tricobalt) and for their pursuit speed, which gives you a better chance of hitting an unshielded facing before the shields come back up.
For energy weapons, I honestly think the most important decision is which one you think looks cool. Really, I do. The bottom line is that any given energy weapon will trigger its special effect a tiny fraction of the time, such that relying on that effect to make a significant impact (like Phasers shutting off a shield facing at the right time for you to launch a torp) is nearly impossible. They're little easter egg effects and don't make much of a difference on their own.
Among the energy weapons, Disruptors are the best general damage weapon, followed closely by Plasma. Antiproton has the benefit of being the most accessible purple quality weapon type, and is an excellent option for that reason alone. Again, it's more about what you think looks good with your configuration than what gives the best objective effect.
Is there a "best" weapon type for pvp? I see A LOT of people running with anti protons.
There is no "best" weapon type. It highly depends on your ship, the skills you want to use, and obviously your specialty.
I actually prefer to go with photon torpedoes and phasers. The phasers ability to down systems has proven very handy, and they are easy to obtain and are low proc.
Photon torpedoes are great because they have by far the highest DPS due to their low recharge time. This doesnt work for everyone, but for me it works perfectly as i am a tactical officer with an escort and turn-rate modifications. I pretty much run cantabrian circles near the enemy, which allows me to maximize the use of my photon DPS due to my turn rate, as well as minimize exposure of my damaged shields.. While my ship is facing toward or away from the enemy, im firing off torpedoes and when my sides face the enemy, they get bombarded with multiple phaser beams.
I think all weapon types are the same 2.5% to do something very (unsignificant) Antiprotons have a huge benefit because they have "stats" but then again so does the "Anti proton shield" that you can use if most opponents are using Antiproton weapons.