I posted this in the game chit-chat as well, but I need to post this here for perpetuity, after reading you're tossing out Hyperspace entirely, all willy-nilly...
Why? WHY? I heard your arguments for "why", but I don't think it's being thought-through how easy it is to circumvent these "negative steam reviews". Allow me to explain:
There is one key thing controls-wise, that sets Star Control apart from the rest of the pack of space games. One very important, albeit subtle thing:
Direct control of your ship, at all times.
You control it when navigating a solar system. You control it when landing on a planet. You control it when fighting in combat. And yes, you're even controlling your one, tiny ship, directly out into the unknown - a vast galaxy that you physically PILOT your ship out into... the unknown.
You CAN autopilot your ship to the next star, but you don't HAVE to. You even can swing around when being pursued and have a LEGITIMATE chance to escape danger through your own hands.
You have OWNERSHIP of that ship.
You LIVE on it.
You DIE on it.
But you never EVER leave it. Even one time.
You're not some floating, all-seeing Overlord in the game, moving pieces around the galaxy map like in GalCiv or Stellaris or Sins of a Solar Empire.
You're smaller than that. You're TINY. And you live inside a ship, metal separating you from the vast and unholy dangers of the universe.
There's a real feeling there. There's a feeling that you only know what you can see. Not some master of the universe that simply clicks where on the Starmap your ship should go, and POP, it goes there no problem.
There's this feeling that you are physically inside this ship you're navigating through the Wilds, and that feeling comes from the fact that you are NEVER anywhere but on your bridge. And you will absolutely die, inside that ship.
IF you take that away, make you some master race overlord that sees the galaxy as a whole who can just click on the star he wants to go to - that vulnerability goes away. You're all of a sudden NOT piloting your ship... you're directing it where to go from the comfort of your home, far, far away from danger.
It takes control away from the player. It takes immersion away. You're no longer an explorer circumnavigating the galaxy at the forefront of your expedition...
You're a colonel in his war-room, telling drones to go out and do the exploring for you.
We absolutely MUST have full control of our ship, exactly when we want and need it - be it to run away from an incoming badguy, exploring a black hole that popped up in the middle of nowhere that's not on the starmap, or even going to a Red giant star, but upon arriving, realizing there's a White Dwarf star hiding right next to it that the Starmap didn't show clearly.
That way - you're giving the credit and reward to the PLAYER, for being in control and escaping danger, or finding the unknown.
That feeling... that beautiful feeling where YOU'VE succeeded when others may not have...
You're stealing it from the player, by not putting them directly in control.
So let's go over some of the issues you had with Hyperspace, and how they could be fixed very easily.
1) "Hyperspace is not fun. It's just waiting and music."
1A) Let's look at a few games that include some sort of "waiting" in them. Think outside the box here for a minute - For example, Minecraft. The game almost entirely consists of digging at blocks. Dirt takes a swing or two, and you get a relatively useless block. Stone takes maybe ten strikes, and a good amount of time... but leads to better weapons and a better pickaxe. Iron takes twice as long, and just looking at it, twenty swings is literally just adding wait-time to the block-mining. God, so annoying, some people might say. But get down to diamond? You've gotta swing like 50x just to mine a single diamond block, what's the point? The point is - the discovery of the block and the wait-time to mine it only serves to INCREASE the player's delight at finally getting a diamond block. It adds importance to it. Increases your feeling of achievement that you got this special block. You feel a little pride at the end. And sure it took 50 swings, but next time you'll come back with a diamond pickaxe and it'll take 10 swings. You've achieved something. Terraria was the same way. But, under your belief that waiting is bad, maybe Minecraft should make all blocks one-swing and they're yours (a la creative-mode - which is the least rewarding mode you can play. People play creative mode for other reasons and with other motives). But I'm pretty sure 130,000,000 people agree that Minecraft got the formula right.
1B) Another example would be Skyrim, if we're going for more direct comparison. You're arguing, in no uncertain terms, that ALL map waypoints in Skyrim should be revealed from the start, and can be fast travelled to instantly from your first step into the world. Sure, there's not much to do along the way, while you're headed for a dungeon... some scenery, maybe a box or two of 7 gold coins, or an old rusty sword. An enemy or 3 to fight. But really, you're just travelling to the dungeon you want, and the walking to get there is "pointless" because there's not much around on the way except other locations.... But that's NOT it. The point and reason why Skyrim doesn't let you fast-travel anywhere from the get-go is because you're a living, breathing person in that world, and you're going to need to walk the cliffside path if you're going somewhere. It's immersive because you CAN'T just make a disembodied float into the unknown - you must explore it first. You're at the head of your own personal expedition, and it may seem useless, but that journey IS the experience, with the dungeon loot as your reward at the end. I remember thinking briefly, "Ugh, it's taking me so long to hoof it to the top of this mountain..." but I wouldn't trade that hike in for anything in the world. Because it wouldn't be ME heading to that dungeon if I could skip all those parts.
1C) I remember playing World of Warcraft in the early days, and lamenting about all the pointedly-coined "trash mobs" between bosses. I wasn't alone. They're called trash mobs for a reason, lol... but what was the alternate? I remember one of the developers stating at the time - "Did you want us to just put four rooms per instance? One boss in each room?" It wasn't to WASTE your time. It was the buildup. The feeling you get when clearing a room, moving onto the next, and finally after several tough battles, taking him down? IT was all part of the experience. You're essentially proposing the same thing - only the interesting parts (bosses, in this example) should be included, and none of the journey along the way.
2) "It takes too long to get places."
2A) So what do we do about it? If it's the length of time you have to wait when travelling, just speed up the ship travel speed. That's simple. You're in control of that. Or better yet, let the PLAYER achieve things in-game that let HIM increase his travel speed. Discover a warp drive or hyperlane drive that lets you travel to systems you've made the connection with, instantly. And maybe eventually, you get a Psychic drive that lets you astrally project your ships to any location you have enough fuel for. There's many ways to ACHIEVE that faster travel speed. If it's an archaic system that should be replaced by something - incorporate modern fast-travel if you must. No one will argue with you too much, or leave a bad Steam review about that. Make them visit manually ONCE, and then to include modern short-attention-span audiences, let them travel back to the places they visited instantly. Done. But that will also PRESERVE the idea/fear that you're a HUMAN, non-omniscient being, heading out into the galaxy in a metal container.
3) "If a person goes out too far and runs out of fuel? Bad Steam review."
3A) Warn them. If they set out and pick a point on the map that's too far for a return trip, a pop-up box full informing them of this would be enough. But take it a step further - if landing on the planet costs fuel, BEFORE they cross that line into not being able to return home, BEFORE they land on a planet that will dip them below the 30 fuel needed to get back, an advisor could pop up and say, "If we go down to the planet, we won't have enough fuel to get back to base." And if you're really guarding against that - JUST DON'T LET THEM. The advisor could put her foot down and say, "Captain, we don't have the fuel for this. We need to make the return trip." And if you're REALLY looking for a solution that would NEVER allow anyone to ever get stranded? Include a wormhole generator that always lets the player return to your home base when you're done exploring. See? Take out the return trip ENTIRELY. Home button simply returns you to earth orbit. Cue cutscene of the wormhole starting up.
4) "There's nothing to do in Hyperspace without increasing scope."
4A) That's simply not true. It doesn't have to be an entirely new part of the game. Just make some systems not detectable on the Starmap. Make some systems only pop up within range. Make some systems hiding in the shadow of a much larger star. Make a system's entrance so tiny you have to manually thread a needle. Make a system only appear during certain days or months. Make a system that doesn't appear until you have a special scanner! Make a system that's only reachable with a certain technology. This is not adding anything to the game. It's using assets and mechanics already implemented to just make it a tish more exciting. And there's always the INCREDIBLY exciting and nail-biting case of avoiding and outrunning an enemy who was coming RIGHT for you. I'm being honest, and I think some others will agree - some of the most TERRIFYING and bone-crushingly tense moments were spent avoiding nasty ships manually, as they're coming for you. When you outrun them and get successfully make it to a safe system? It was devastatingly suspenseful, with an incredibly fun and unique outcome.