Rear Admiral
Just a brief post: I can recommend Starfield to scratch that Privateer itch. It's not Star Citizen though neither is Star Citizen. It's not overly complicated and a good way to spend your gaming hours.
Spent some hours on it recently and found it to be one of the most boring games ever (with the exception of the terror morph stuff - that was actually quite good). But one good quest line isn't enough to recommend a £70 game that consists of mostly pure fluff.

The only good space game I've played that released in the last 10 years was Elite Dangerous. An excellent space sim.

We need Squadron 42. I really miss the military style space sim. Let us hope that Chris Roberts blows our socks off when it eventually releases.
Nothing would make me happier.
Put me in the camp that also found it dull. A lot of it is how the dialogue is presented, although you are free to move around it ends up feeling like early 90s talking heads rather than anything cinematic - I just put subtitles on and click click click ahead rather than waiting for the line.

I get the desire to keep the player in control but even games that never switch to a cutscene atleast get some interaction between characters and environments.
The boatload of text probably contributes to the half hearted performances
The space combat feels like a tacked on feature.
It's functional but feels so incredibly flat. The targeting system sucks but the combat is usually so easy you don't need it anyway.

It's not terrible but it really does get old fast. The occasional skirmish with crimson ships in very small and contained areas and if you decide to do the undercover crimson fleet stuff you literally have no enemies to fight in space.

Also worth mentioning is the bizarre fast travel system. Sometimes it is necessary to jump to a certain star system. Others, you can simply fast travel to a location several star systems away. It's convenient yes, but totally kills the immersion.
There is almost zero to no space combat in it. It is terrible.
There is a mod to incense it, but what a piece of crap for us flight bastards.

There's a fair bit of space combat already. Other than getting jumped frequently because of the bounty origin battles between the local faction and one of the pirate ones seem fairly frequent, and mission board usually have two or three space combat missions.

As for the game in general the Privateer comparison is surprisingly fitting. I love messing around with the open world and upgrading my gear and whatnot, but I'd have a hard time motivating myself to actually get any of the story stuff done.