To be fair, you're getting the advantage of a ship that's considered mastered right from the get go as opposed to after you've upgraded one component in every slot, 145000 ship requsition or so later, and after the point at which you're really going to benefit from that 10% bonus. There's a definate advantage to doing so, it's just more of a personal one.
Still isn't pay to win, mind. Pay to gear-up-moderately-faster perhaps.
Wait. Cartel ships are fully upgraded ? I wasn't aware of that.