I use the barrel roll less and less. Just moving the ship in the right pattern is better.
^^^ this. I suspect also that people having trouble may be switching unnecessarily to shield recharge during heavy fire times. This is RARELY a benefit, and will often be detrimental, since in a lot of cases, a good offense can be the best defense (the guns can't hurt you if they're destroyed). The only time I find shield charging necessary while trying to kill things is during Cha Raaba when you've got mines and 4 targets all to deal with at once. Not that charging shields is useless, there are often completely (or nearly so) downtime periods where charging back up is critical.