It's certainly a hefty feat to produce ANYTHING as a smalltime Developer, with no Publisher and no advance whatsoever. I don't know how Derek keeps his team working - no matter his other faults he must be a great man-manager.
I wouldn't be quick to say that BC:M is selling well though, they have less Marketing overhead (travesty that the world is, that often exceeds the cost of making the damn game these days!) and don't have to jump through the insanely expensive retail hoops - but a game that size costs a MINT to make. I'm note sure they've made that mint back on a nice PC only title.
As far as my original title went, I'm agreeing with the chap who said he thought the interface was poorly designed. I quite liked the Star Trek Bridge Commander interface, where you set up the targets, give the TacOps guy a rough Rules of Engagement profile and let him get on with it. There are a whole bunch of things to be done on a Starship without aiming and firing every single gun!
I tried the Starship combat demo of BC3K and found that the ships combined the speed of fighters with the maneuverability of OilTankers. This made combat pretty difficult.
As for the rest of the feature list, I hear that most everything is in, but that if you operate outside of scripted bounds it's a pretty sterile experience. That's the perennial problem - Elite:Frontier anyone? A whole galaxy of the same 8 experiences...