Just to toot my own horn, I came up with the solution of removing stackable modules, so no more shield boosters, armor plates, fighter hangars, shield banks etc stacking. Only cargo space obviously. IMHO that would allow more people to play open as the notorious murder boats would be far less impervious to attacks and level the playing field somewhat, while also returning a modicum of challenging content as your engineered ships are still strong but no longer godlike. Personally i would consider playing open more if this were the case, if I'd feel I'd have something of a fighting chance I would enjoy the pucker-factor of gankers.The post below is fairly representative of the minority view that calls for 'tougher NPC' solely as, in order to be part of the PvP contingent, they have to build massively overpowered ships in order to on the same level as the rest of the group.
For any player not in the least interested in participating in PvP an average PvE build (which can actually carry a little cargo and be able to jump more than a couple of LY) might find plenty of 'challenge' in the current NPC behaviour.
Besides, as i understand ED uses instancing with a max of 32 commanders per instance? Well the galaxy is huge, ergo this game really doesnt cater well to pvp in those regards.