I was really excited about the new space missions/gear, and I tried to get as many commendations as I could for when 1.6 hit. Getting a full set was going to be a huge, satisfying accomplishment, making the new missions I'd be able to do all the more succulent.
All that has evaporated now. I'm not even interested in doing it anymore. It seems like they deliberately set the commendation costs and material requirements obscenely high to drive people to the cartel market.
It's also the reason for the catch-22 -- in order to complete the missions, you need the gear you can realistically
only earn by doing them. Commendations from the other missions are too small, you'll go insane and it will take months or years.
Now, to me, doing it is not a big accomplishment, it's getting screwed by the scam. It's volunteering to be deliberately punished for not buying them with cartel coins.