Yeah some good observations here.
The problem with Shallow Space at the moment is it isn't in the least bit deterministic. So the outcomes aren't pre-programmed. This sounds like a good thing, but actually games are deterministic for a reason, mainly so it can be assumed that an encounter will take X amount of time and the player isn't getting bored watching two ships dogfight or the Player can develop strategies rather than having to try stuff at random.
In 4.8.1 there has been a lot more tweaking of the ships behaviours, they are much faster to move about for a start (and have inertia,) i'll likely increase the ranges of the weapons and speed of turret tracking also as you suggest to quicken the pace of the combat.
Having the ships orbiting the target shooting is an obvious inclusion but is actually a red herring. It works well for Eve Online where the player only has a single ship to look after but in an RTS it basically equals mayhem.
On the other foot the problem with stationary ships is it drastically reduces their chances to fire and adding AI for the ships to work out the best firing position again results in lots of unpredictable movement and eternal chasing which doesn't make for great gameplay, not to mention it's expensive on the CPU.
So the piggy in the middle is the directional assaults we're introduced, they are predictable - so the Player can work against them by say, placing ships either side of the attack route as static firing points or adjusting the shields to tank the incoming fire.
Ultimately it is up to the player to work out whether to go on the offensive (right click on the enemy) or sit stationary and tank defensively or a mixture of the two.
In addition, grouping your ships into one big formation isn't always the best answer as they will block each others line of fire. I can increase the spacings of the formations a little, i'll add that in 4.8.1 also.
Friendly fire won't be an issue for much longer.