I've spoken to the design team about the issue of Grade 7 ship upgrades and the cost in game (resources and time) versus the cost on the Cartel Market, since this concern was raised by a number of people on our forums.
Our Lead Designer for the game, Damion Schubert, has this to say:
Unfortunately, there is, in fact, a great disparity between these two costs. We want to apologize for this, as there was a miscommunication internally on how valuable these upgrades were, how challenging they should be to earn, and how fast a player should be able to earn them.
We are currently looking at solutions that cause the least amount of frustration for all players affected, while keeping the integrity of both the Cartel Market and the game intact.
It is not our intent to make the Cartel Market the “way to play" the game—we want you to feel that both the Cartel Market and earning gear in game are viable options as far as value goes, neither being far more efficient or effective than the other.
We truly hope you enjoy the challenge of the new Heroic Space Missions and apologize again for what we hope is a small distraction.
I want to reiterate that we are actively looking at solutions and they will be communicated to you as soon as we have a solid plan.
Thank you for your patience.
Translation - we thought you cash monkeys wouldnt complain so much about it given how garbage the on rails space missions are, now we have been forced to make this post saying we will do something so appease your fears when in fact we wont do anything. Buy more cartel packs!!