I have to wonder if interstellar exploration is something anyone and a replicator can pull off. Or if, despite humanity's evolved sensibilities, SF is leary of letting anyone run around the universe.
That's definitly fodder for a nice story. Sort of a "Why do you think Earth is a paradise? They want us STUCK here, while the brightest of the bright take their rightful place in the heavens" conspiricy story. Seems like Miracleman was going that way before it was cancelled.