Poor Ray. ...the immersion and atmosphere in Doom 3 match that of System Shock perfectly.
That is so, so wrong!
Not really. System Shock had dark halls and creepy corridors, with zombies crawling through it. So does Doom 3, it just looks a bit prettier. Everything else that you perceive that System Shock does better in the immersion and atmosphere area are simply because of the type of game it is. In the beginning, you can't just go around shooting the shit out of zombies, because you have no ammo, so you have to sneak. Sneaking automatically makes it all seem scarier and more atmospheric. In Doom 3, you have a gun, 20 seconds later, you have a shotgun, and you have ammo. Plus the levels are linear, so what other choice do you have?
But in presentation / immersion etc, I fail to see much difference.
I'd love a redo of System Shock with the Doom 3 engine though!
(The original System Shock, preferably, a MUCH MUCH better game than System Shock 2. It's too bad the OMM forums are dead, there was a magnificent post there on System Shock 2 that was one of the most defining moments of comedy in the history of internet forums.)
As for X2, let's see if I can give you some pointers.
1) IGNORE THE STORY. Seriously, stop torturing yourself. The story is the most poorly written piece of crap this side of.. of... of the most poorly written piece of crap ever. Play mission 1 and 2, to get some freebies (here's a tip, when you take the ship back to Terracorp HQ with that whiny fish inside, before you talk to Elena Kho again, SELL the shield and laser. Use that money to buy yourself some decent kit.)
If you continue to play the story, you will end up in the most horrendously pisspoorly designed final mission ever seen in computer gaming. There are no words to describe it. Putting your dick in a blender and turning it to puree would give you more joy than that mission.
STOP PLAYING THE STORYLINE.
2) The autopilot aims below the gates because sometimes a Big Ship comes through the gate, and it would splatter you against it otherwise. Believe me, this is not funny. I once flew into my own fucking destroyer coming through a gate.
3) The autopilot does take forever to dock you (I usually just dock myself, or kill some pirates in Paranid space, so I can dock there and buy a docking computer), but you CAN HIT SETA WHILE DOCKING. Then you dock in about 5 seconds. Who cares how it flies to get you there, it never fails (never has for me anyways).
3) This game is not about combat, although it was made slightly better in 1.4. It's about empire building. Pre 1.4 this was only possible through trading / mining or owning a large amount of fabs.
In 1.4 it's actually possible to just keep doing assassination missions and making a fortune that way.
But if you want a great storyline and tons of action, X2 won't give it to you.
4) Long loads? Hmmm? That doesn't seem to happen for me, it's about 4 or 5 seconds or so to load a sector? The load game is quite long, but other than that?
5) Docking inside a station. You don't have to. Hit escape. Same for when you want to leave. Hit escape. It's there for those who WANT to do it (for immersion factor), and because you can do some sort of treasure hunt, but it's easy enough to hit escape.
6) Buying or selling, that's most likely not a bug, but just dependant on where you are. Factories only SELL product (ie, what they manufacture), and only BUY resources (ie, what they need to manufacture their product.) They will not buy anything else. You can only ever BUY the thing that's on the top line(s) and sell the stuff that's on the bottom line(s). This takes a bit of time to get the hang of it. It's not freelancer where everything gets sold and bought everywhere (but somehow there's still profit to be made).
Also, prices are dynamic, in that they are tied to the amount of the product a fab has in stock. It the volume is high, the price they buy / sell for is low. If stock is low, the price they buy / sell for is high. Hence, buy from well stocked resource producers when their stock is high, and sell to factories when their stock is low.
A great set of items to help you with this are the Best Buy and Best Sell Locators, sold in Teladi Space (from Argon Prime, go North, East, East, North, North, East and find an equipment dock. Bring about, ehh, 20.000 credits I believe.)
The thing is, it's not a quick fix space combat simulator, like Wing Commander and Freespace 2. Everything takes time. Money makes money. Your first million is always the hardest, then it gets easier.
Combat does not become enjoyable until you have a decently outfitted ship. Your Argon Disco is not a combat vessel. An M3 is.
Hope some of this helps.