Well, with 8 or so hours on record I feel like I can write a review on something quite a few other reviewers spent less than an hour on.
Anyway, I agree with the general consensus: The ship builder side of the game is very functional, and the Workshop is full of awesome ships (and mechs even!) built by members of the playerbase that can be downloaded for your playthroughs. (After you fix them - don't forget the fact that a number of Workshop ships are technically incomplete, with not all of the subsystems set, and often with far too many subsystems than the other parts can handle. Too many hangar bays is a common example.) The learning curve for the shipbuilder is kind of steep, but like I said, quite functional.
Outside of the shipbuilder, it's cool that you can set up a randomly-generated sandbox galaxy to mess around in according to some parameters that you set during generation - namely, galaxy size and number of factions. It gives a lot of play area, though there's no guaruntee your ship (even the workshop ones) will have the warp range to reach other parts of the galaxy. There are missions, pirates who nobody cares if you go hunting, and faction-relations mechanics - all of which are good.
The thing is, outside of that it just feels bare. In 8 hours of play I've only encountered "go hear and kill what you find" missions. I haven't delved into the economy or career mode, true, but no "sandbox" should ever feel like there's nothing to do - and that's exactly how this game makes me feel. Sure, I can warp across the galaxy into pirate-held sectors and go to town with a downloaded Star Destroyer or HMS Warspite, sure I can rescue traders from pirate fighters and kill a smuggler or six, and sure it can be enjoyable all the same - I was giddy when I launched in my downloaded Super Star Destroyer and found it to be larger than the space station it was docked at, but all in all I can't really recommend this game.
I bought it summer of last year, expecting it to improve in time, but it really doesn't seem to have gone anywhere. Whether or not the devs are still working on it behind the scenes I'm not really sure. I am sure though that this game has huge potential, but as it is now fails to live up to it. Right now all it's really good for is destroying everything you see. While enjoyable by itself, it gets old when you run into an enemy or 6 using the same ship as you, and that ship is some form of battleship which had until then slaughtered helpless foes. Especially when those enemies are pirates.
I have limited hard drive space, and I am afraid that I'm going to have to uninstall to make room for other, more fleshed-out games. I might still come back to it eventually, see how it's changed (if at all). I just hope the potential here doesn't remain wasted.