At the moment playing with current gameplay loop you get enough items and materials grade your equipment almost without any grind at all, just know what you need and where to find it. And with inventory limits you are pointed toward either trying out different guns or setting on two and collecting mats for it. However, you also need data, which with current rates is unobtainable. That is the problem.It's not a grind, instead of money, you get materials while you do the missions, and at some point you got enough materials to make your weapon upgrade.
The problem is the some people want the Uber gun now, without making an effort, so why have it? regarding the ships you can change a lot, so it's not just about the guns for them.