First of all, to understand the Anaconda and its appeal, you must understand the 1975 Cadillac Fleetwood 75:
Second of all, you're absolutely right. Turrets are the only way to fly. I put a bunch of pulse laser turrets with Long Range mod, and I can sustain DPS on any target within 5 km. Go ahead, try to run away. LAWL.
Third of all, it seats three. So I can have one or two CMDRs in gimballed beam laser fighters, while those turrets are also smashing things. With four pips in shields AND four pips in weapons!! Since just one of those fighters kills a standard NPC Adder in about 5 seconds... lets just say this is awesome for NPC farming in Convoy Beacons etc.
Fourth of all, it's a battering ram. I love crushing Type 9's like aluminum cans and watching the chemical manipulators fall out of them like skittles out of a piñata.
Fifth of all, did I mention that in addition to two fighter bays, I also have a collector limpet shooter outer thing, a cargo rack for 32T, two class 6 shield cell banks, a 4A FSD interdictor, two heat sink launchers, a kill warrant scanner, several hull plating thingies, two module reinforcement thingies, chaff launcher, point defense, and like three or four A0 shield boosters? Plus some other stuff I am forgetting. With all that and a Class 7B Shield (better integrity but heavier) it does 325 m/s on boosts and has a 24.5 LY jump range, which I find totally acceptable for bubble use. Consider also that everything I have is Class A, and I still have power to spare, cuz the modded power plant cranks out 40.15 MW. FORTY.
Sixth of all, it's versatile. What other ship can go from being a top-grade bounty hunter and NPC farmer (as mentioned above) to being an explorer ship with 50+ LY jump range including shield, point defense, chaffs, dual heat sinks, and dual SRV bay? This thing is a goddamned cornucopia. It's like if a swiss army knife was made out of swiss army knives. I can swap out all my modules and make it do just about anything.
Almost nothing is more fun in this game than going in Solo Mode and jumping in my fighter with two beam lasers on gimbals while having the Conda follow me around with its turrets set to "Fire At Will". My gosh.
well it seems i have to retract what i said earlier about Anacondas being too slow and therefore vulnerable; i took my newest 'conda (named Sidewinder) to Palin's for a DD5, then loaded up on legal haulage at Darnielle's for the return trip along with all the pirate interdictors that entails (15 mil payout for a 400Ly trip with 250t. pathetic) and my 'conda was excellent. she never came close to losing her shields against several elite FDLs, FGSs and FASs, never overheated, never drained her weapon cap. a very useful trader.
(she is running Farseer grd5 range FSD, Palin Dirty grd5, all hardpoints are pulse turrets Dweller grd4 Efficient)