The game should run fine on most computers, it runs on my old 1.7 ghz machine, albeit a bit sluggish, but not bad. The key is the video card - in my old machine I have a GEForce 9800 which I would say is the lowest you can go. In my newer machine I run a one-year-old GT220 which works fine.
Many newer games require a medium to high end video card. There is a lot going on in the engine with dynamic lighting and processing that requires the beefier card. For less than $100 you will be able to play most new games out there with no issues.
As for the controls, we are a bit limited on what we can do because we require both mouse control for clicking on things and also mouse control for movement and flying. That's why you have to hold the right mouse button down while flying forward in order to steer, in order to temporarily disable the cursor movement. Once you get on to it, it actually makes sense and is not difficult to fly.
If you are running the latest 1.03 version, there is a hotkey "V" which will put you into "freelook" mode. When freelook mode is on you do not have to hold the right mouse button down, simply thrust forward with the "W" key and while you are moving you pan the mouse and it will steer you. Using these controls you have complete control and can execute many cool maneuvers, especially in the Klingon fighter which can turn tighter and hover in a vertical position for longer before leveling out. The auto-leveling is there for a reason, without it you quickly get disoriented in space and finding and zeroing in on the flying enemy targets is much harder.
Maybe try the game again if you upgrade your video card in the future. And practice with the "V" key to make flying easier. When in freelook mode after clicking "V", you will have no cursor to click on anything (like the icons at the bottom of the screen) - just right-click the mouse and the cursor will come back again.
Thanks for the feedback,