I love that you mentioned this. The descriptions of the game in the Play Station Store have changed as well. Where the vanilla game is now considered DEMO, and the DLC is now called the Full-Game-Unlock. Which might be true, if the price wasn't doubled for the unlock key... lol. The Vanilla is still the same price as it was before the DLC.Pay-to-win is a mechanic, where you can skip parts of the gameplay for money. Exactly what you're proposing.
The fact that by owning DLC you're having an advantage over non-DLC player isn't exactly the same. It might seem unfair, but in a game like Elite it's hardly a problem. It's not PvP focused, and frankly, Base Elite is more like test drive, where you can check if the rest is worth investing into.