Part of the problem with starbases is in thinking they're some great new thing to do. They really aren't. They're a good resource sink to get some of the currency and items out of the economy, however. If we had them when we were starting, it would be a normal part of it, and you could have dumped stuff as you collected it.
It was introduced late in the game, and plays funny when everyone's at end-level. I've dismissed hundreds of white DOFFs, and suddenly they're valuable and we need them. So they become expensive to buy, and you gotta get rid of green/blue/purple DOFFs to find the space to collect them. Works backwards, although they've tried to help by letting you break down better DOFFs to get whites. Either way, would have been easy to start with, harder to retrofit.
The gear/ships? no real desire for them on my part. My current RA escort works just fine (bought the VA defiant, but don't much care for it. not at great a loadout, lesser hull), and i've got STF gear that works fine. Full Mk XI sets, and at least a ship set of XII (STILL working on ground, only have a single piece after all this time).
Same problem as when complaining about grinding the STFs for the gear, anyway. Grind your ass off to get the gear, then what? Really nothing to do with it, and only place that's it's a benefit is in the mission you just grinded 1000 times to GET the gear. If you beat it 1000 times without it, you didn't need it. Plus you're sick to death of playing the mission anyway.
Grind for gear, sell us ships and gear. Fine. Gotta come up with fun ways to USE the gear, or there's no point. What good is the STF MK XII gear, outside of actually playing the STFs? Borg-modified, and no more Borg after that. so...?