Once you get to mid game, money shouldn't be a problem for you. Other factors such as Pad size have a greater influence on the 'Best' ship.
I'd go with this advice, try them and see. What works for you is the right choice for you, As Capt Willard says we can post our choices, but other forumites would disagree.The best ships are the ones that work best for you. I could name the best ships that work for me and I would be shouted down in a hurry that their picks are better. Yeah right.
I'm intrigued why you're asking, so feel free to chime in. I'm reasonably well off now, so credit level isn't much of an issue.
my advice is to try them all, with the probable exception of combat most ships are viable for any task. fun factor is important so i fly what i like, disregarding efficiency a bit.Given the relative cost, and depending on your current Credit Level, which ship in each class is best suited to the following:
any small ship that can sport a few cargo containers will do for rare commodities trading. you'll want to maximize jump range.Trading
you can mine in a cobra for fun. to be efficient, you want enough optional slots for cargo containers, refinery (10 bins), limpet controllers (ideally around 7 limpets at a time, maybe more), so any medium/big ship.Mining
some relevant factors:Exploration
this depends a lot on your style (tanky, evasion, stealth, etc) and purpose (pve/pvp). whole topic in itself, so i'm not going to say anything except the 'canonical' combat ships are:Combat
|72||78||44,800||50||6||4 (1)||Eagle MkII|
|108||104||110,830||50||6||4 (1)||Imperial Eagle|
|270||103||426,990||190||7||6 (1)||Viper MkIV|
|504||162||19,382,250||400||13||5 (3)||Alliance Chieftain|
|Federal Assault Ship||Combat||8.33|
|540||133||19,814,205||480||14||6 (2)||Federal Assault Ship|
|540||208||30,472,265||450||13||6 (3)||Alliance Challenger|
|630||186||35,814,210||580||14||5 (3)||Federal Gunship|
|666||516||180,327,022||900||24||10 (2)||Federal Corvette|
The only combat I do really is Res PvE. Yep, the FDL is awesome for this but at some point I'll bite off my than I can chew and have to return somewhere to lick my wounds. Whilst the Corvette is not as much fun to fly you can stay in a res almost indefinitely in a res and bust out your fighter for some fun flying. My primary trait is laziness so the Corvette is going to win more often than not.I’m baffled that out of all the comments here the FDL got one mention. Personally I love the chief but the FDL will fly circles around any ship in combat. I’d rather fly that than the vette for combat as well
Is your FDL engineered fully? If it isn’t I would probably suggest that’s why it has those issues where it is more than one could handle sometimes. Mine has 2k in shields with good resistances and I don’t think I’ve come up against an issue where there is too much for it. Especially since you have that speed you can outrun any issue if it comes down to that and engage on your own termsThe only combat I do really is Res PvE. Yep, the FDL is awesome for this but at some point I'll bite off my than I can chew and have to return somewhere to lick my wounds. Whilst the Corvette is not as much fun to fly you can stay in a res almost indefinitely in a res and bust out your fighter for some fun flying. My primary trait is laziness so the Corvette is going to win more often than not.
But yeah, lack of love for the FDL is a bit odd.