I actually agree. Normally I'd be all RAAR against hardcore stuff... problem is, there isn't ANY in this game. There needs to be a balance. BTW, I'm a CASUAL gamer (nowadays, I used to be hardcore), and I think this.
1) Make the Death Penalty work. When crew die, they DIE. There is no bringing them back without going to Starbase to replenish. If you want to avoid ****ing off the casuals, just don't make it too expensive to replenish crew. Also, add in some XP Debt. It is an excellent way to manage DPs, and if it works like CoH, it will decrease over time while you're logged off anyway, so it won't hurt the casuals TOO much.
2) Crafting. REAL crafting, not the item modifications you have at Memory Alpha. Hell, give us non-Starfleet character classes to play, so we can be traders and explorers, and allow us to craft items and weapons from scratch. Explain it this way: The replicators can make anything, but they need the proper raw materials in order to do so.
3) Yes please, balance out levelling. Set up some sort of rest XP like in WoW; that will please the casuals. Also, make the game a bit harder. My Science Officer in a light cruiser is making short work of EVERYTHING I come across... even 3 Birds of Prey at once, WITHOUT maxing shields. 3 BoP should be harder not that. Not impossible, it should just take more strategy than flying in a circle, concentrating on one at a time and pretty much totally ignoring the others until its their turn.