So, like you I am coming back to the game after an absence hoping rebellion will revitalize the game.
I thought I'd respond to your qualms in order to keep the discussion going:
I've never actually experienced this issue, if I'm using my scouts to spot mines I will order them to follow my carrier cruisers so that they spot effectively but stay out of the fight.
Sounds like a UI bug, haven't witnessed it myself, hopefully it will be sorted out.
This has been a minor annoyance for me aswell with all the Sins iteration. Other RTS games will usually have a hot-key devoted to resetting the camera to the default point of view, it's often delete. With Sins maps, this poses and interesting conundrum as there is no "default" camera perspective. I like to situate my camera so my homeworld is "south" of the rest of the map, or at least so that my main route of expansion runs "north" or up my display. However, there are many exceptions to this personal tenancy, and I imagine the dev's didn't include a default camera position citing the diversity of of Sins map layouts.
This is a weakness of the fleet system. Orders given to fleets are actually functionally only given to the flagship of said fleet, thus causing some ships to lay idle in certain circumstances. I tend to not actually group my strike forces into one large fleet, but three or four smaller ones. This way, I can assign the correct groups of units to the correct tasks. For instance, on an attack I group my mainline units (LRM's, Heavy Cruisers) with my toughest cap ship as the leader. My carriers form another "fleet" so that they can be kept out of trouble away from the main fight. Other vessels who fill particular roles (siege frigates, anti-structure cruisers) form their own units so that they can be kept our of trouble and strike their targets when the time is right. This method ensures that the correct units are handling the correct tasks, and that fragile units are screed by my cannon fodder and tanks. Also be sure to assign specific tasks.
This is a particular challenge, however, if your opponent is managing his defenses properly, you should have to confront them in order to continue your assault. If you feel like bypassing them, giving shift-click queued move orders outside the defenses range can alleviate this issue. I agree though, watching a group of frigates get obliterated by a minefield you've already spotted is pretty god damned annoying.
Agreed, I tend to turn VO cues off.
Yea, star base utility is pretty hampered when playing against a competent human opponent. The Vasari have the advantage of mobile star-bases which give them more practical anti-fleet capabilities, but I wouldn't discount the other two factions bases so quickly. (I'm using the TEC base mostly as a reference) Static Star bases have two combat major utilities IMO. One: as a massive fighter bay, since they take up no tactical slots, bases allow for a fleet of fighters and bombers which can atrit an assault even if it stays out of range of the bases guns. Two: as speed bumps, either utilizing orbital government upgrades to force your opponent to destroy the base prior to colonization (which gives you time for proper fleet dispatch). The destabilization effect also helps greatly in fleet battles as it pulls down a ton of hp.
So, food for thought I suppose. Hope it's helpful.