I own most of the c-store ships, but do agree I wont spend zen for a per character unlock as I have 15 characters on my account. I do think the ship are not overpriced though for someone looking to obtain a high end ship on a free to play account as most only have one character on the account anyways.
I buy c-store ships with zen which are account wide unlocks. I just by fleet modules from the exchange for 4.5 million so as not to waste my zen. Lock box ships have nothing on fleet ships for the most part. You can buy many unique consoles as well from lock box items on the exchange. So I basically opened a few lock boxes get a ship sell it on the exchange for 100 million and use my energy credits to by up everything I want - fleet modules, unique weapons, consoles, doffs, etc. I can basically have fleet ships on everyone with the energy credits earned.
I bought a Fleet Patrol Escort..think I paid $10 of my own money (bought 2 off the exchange). I have 2 characters so I didn't care if it was an account unlock. My other character is not in a fleet and probably won't ever be so it really wasn't much of a buying point for me.
I like the fleet patrol escort you get +10% shields and hull and and extra engineering console slot. Then a universal BOFF slot. So it is really versatile. I wouldn't ever think of flying anything else with that character.
Like many have said in this thread, to each their own. I have plenty of money, Zen, and dilthium to buy any C-Store ship I want, but I find that tons of players buy them only for the consoles. Which, in my opinion, a good part of them are gimmicks (which have long cool down times)
This is really a great game that you really don't have to spend any money on if you don't want to. Just do the grind and get up the currency (EC, Dilth, ZEN) of your choice and buy what you want. While some think it is overpriced, others love the fact that it can all be free for a little work.