Vendikarr - good info, thanks for posting
Tribble Puncher - When I'm short on time (which is most of the time these days), I do the DOFF assignments. I focus on Diplomacy first, my character's profession second, then everything else. DOFF assignments can net you a wide range of things from credits to equipment and BOFFs.
It took me 18 months to get my first char to level 50 so you're not alone. I'm in Central Europe, but if you see me online give a shout. I'll run an episode with you.