Vesta (full set) is nice crowd control and can become virtually indestructible for 30 seconds at a time.
I agree. Don't let the hull stat fool you. The Vesta is versatile enough to be very tanky if a player wants it to be. Put some repair drones in the hanger. Put and Eng or Sci with healing powers in the LtCom boff slot. On top of that you'll have access to the fermion field and the shield bubble. Indestructible.
Vesta with the universal LtCmdr or Nebula with the universal Lt, either one set to engineering, will give you 5 engineering slots and Commander Science. Vesta is faster, can mount cannons, has more tac consoles, has a hangar, and is 10 consoles out of the box. Nebula has more hull, a higher shield modifier (if you get the Fleet version), the Tachyon Grid console, and has classic Starfleet lines. Either one would be a good science ship with emphasis on durability.