Ok, so I decided to try the 'conda one more time, although this time I saved up a extra 100m (~300m total) before buying it. Still not fully 'A' rated of course (that PS is EXPENSIVE), but I think I have it configured well enough to make a few long hauls to replenish the bank account.
I only play PVE at the moment (joined a group, but need TeamSpeak and a headset first), and will not do engineers any more after a couple of frustrating attempts, so A-rated is the goal. The reason I'm Back in the Bus is because I cannot find a better suited, non-military ship to do what I want. I want to be able to carry enough to make missions worthwhile, which my Python was more than capable of, but to also be able to have a couple of ATVs in the hold to visit any interesting planets I come across. And I wanted a ship that could carry a fighter. I haven't the funds to outfit a fighting 'conda, nor is that the goal. But I'd like a little backup in those cases where I am unable to run and have to make a stand. That, and I really want to try flying one of these little speed demons.
Tried the FGS, and laughed the whole time. But it is too single-focused for what I want to do. It IS fun bashing into PVE ships though. Gonna miss that. The FGS is a tank. Weighs more than my 'conda.
It's only been a day, and I still hold my breath every time I egress a station, and I haven't added the fighter yet as I want to make a concentrated run or two to recoup some funds. But once she's ready I 'should' be able to pretty much just go wherever and do whatever I want without having to change configurations/ships to do so.
Or at least that's the plan...