One of the worst parts about Eve's design is it's item and ship design systems. Let me switch gears for a second to illustrate my point-
Halflife 1. One of the most incredible gaming experiences of all time (in my book). While it's single player game play and game design was outstanding, what is even more sublime and subtle is it's multiplayer game design. Everything can be summed up with one item: the Glock.
With most other games (Quake being a good example) each item that the player acquires is progressively more powerful and renders all other weapons obsolete. Good game design? Not really. With Quake, once you have the rocket launcher, that's it. You run around clobbering everyone else and if you can control the use of the rocket launcher, you can usually win that map.
Halflife has the Glock. It's the lowliest weapon on the roster. It's weak, it's anemic and everyone has one, but it's special. It's the only weapon that can fire under water. It has a purpose! So yes, that's the point of all of my above rambling. Halflife has excellent game design because there is little to no overlap for any of it's weapons with respect to what roles they need to fill and how they go about doing it. Even the rocket launcher isn't the instant 'I win' button that it usually is in other games. Purity of purpose, purity of design. Its destructive power was limited by its reload time and its slow flight time.
So, like the Halflife Glock, every weapon and item and every variation thereof needs to have a specific reason for existing in Eve. Currently each variation (with very few exceptions) is just 'better' than the lower meta level items. More damage, more range, more tracking, better fittings. Instead of 'more and better' why not 'different? More tracking at the expense of range. More damage at the expense of cap/ammo use? Give each variant a unique reason for being. Make each ship more tightly focused. Make each races theme more pronounced. Make each area of Eve (high sec, low sec and 0.0) valuable in its own right.