I guess I look at SC development much like Steams early access development model. I see a game that is for sale for $45 entry level content, where you can play in development parts but it's not yet ready for full release (E:D is fully released). In early access people are spending money to help finish the game, the more they spend the bigger and better the game is (supposedly). A good game example is ARK (which I understand will never come out of early access, but that's another conversation). ARK is always on Steams top 10 sales list, and still sells tons of copies, it is unfinished but yet there is still content to keep the players wanting more so they get their friends to buy it or they get the expansion pack, therefore more money goes into the development cycle.
That how I see SC at the moment, an endless pit of money getting dumped into their coffers (at the moment) from backers, new players and people buying more ships (DLC) to help finish the game. I see their budget always growing because the fans are always putting money into it. I don't see SC as a "set in stone" development budget like other games to where game A. has to be done by such in such date and cost under such and such amount of dollars.
If say they go 2, 3, 4 years more without delivering major content then people will get fed up and stop feeding the development engine, then you can say ... see ... it was
too good to be true. But if say in 2 years time SC is at a state where they call it Release version 1.0 and not alpha, and they then say ya this took 250 million to make, I'm guessing by the amount of money they continue to pull in monthly from fans as well as the brand deals like the Intel, Saitek, AMD, private deals they will have that funding to get to that point. Not to mention the money injection they will receive from SQ42 sales when it's released in a few months with coverage on review sites, adding to the ever growing funds they already have.
Now how they get to that point and how they are doing it, well that's also up for debate, but from what I see and read, it looks like a typical AAA development cycle to me with setbacks, redos, and delays included ... and from what has been shown, it looks to me like they can deliver on most of their promises, but I'm said to be bias