Honestly I have a solid picture in my head of how I would like to see this work out. When it comes to the release version, I would love to see a $10 game version. This version would be without a ship and you would have to buy transport or get a spot on a ship as a crew. Eventually, you would be able to afford your own ship.True. I suspect they'll either give you a starter ship to begin with or credits to buy one. Otherwise, if they make a new player (who hasn't bought any ships during development) slave around for weeks before being able to afford even the most basic of ships, that would suck harder than this
A side version (and I am very, very cautious about this one) is to offer the game as free to play. The free to play version would not allow for a pilot's license. So you physically couldn't sit in a pilot seat. However, it would allow you to be a crew member, fps your ass off, and play star marine. When you want to fly and find your own way around the 'verse, you can sub up and pay the fee for a license. This comes with a big load of caution though since free to play just piles on the hacks and exploits.
Either way, I think a ship should take some effort to obtain. Granted, an Aurora shouldn't take too long to earn (no offense). However, it shouldn't be just given out.