That's my favorite part too, Bioware was smart in making it feel reminiscant of KOTOR II's The Harbinger level. Nothing more scary than an abandoned ship with the unkown out there with you. As for other people, I waited a while to do mine so not alot of people were there and no one was feeling chatty.
the Theoretica was by far one of my favorite quests in the game. loved it soooo much. as far as digging the parts out of the ground went, it wasn't too difficult. time consuming, yes, but not difficult. i did it a week after everyone already had their HK as well, but there were still people around looking for parts (especially on DK...there were TONS). we all just helped each other.