Someone made a comment towards my corporation's tendency to fly T1 ships a bit ago. It was not complimentary. It was not a pointed insult. It was more along the lines of being past or to good to spend that much time in T1, sub-battleship hulls. The initial urge was to respond back with neat, pointed remarks about how they are wrong and why we fly what we fly. But, that would be useless. Justification, while it feels fantastic, rarely works. Also, our effectiveness was not in doubt. It was that the hulls are cheap, basic hulls.
Most of us play Eve because of spaceships. It may be the technical play of them or it may be the mindless screaming of, "Yay! Woooo!" But, we play for the spaceships. I lusted for a Naga for a long time. I saw one once and I fell deeply in love with the hull. I now have three and I have had exactly two chances to fly it in the nine months I have been able to fly it. But, I love the hull. I also have a Rokh and I can't even fly it. I love the hull.
The hull is interesting. It can be the most expensive part of the ship or the least. My last two T1 cruiser losses the hull was 1/4 of the cost of the loss. The rest was in modules, drones, and ammunition. The balance is even more amusing with a T1 frigate. These are the ships that you can obtain within hours of entering the game. Some are given to you for free even. Other's are only delayed by the acquisition of ISK. Skills are another conversation.
Part of the rebalancing and tiericide attempts was to revitalize underutilized hulls. It brought cruisers into the light where I think they belong. As the casual, daily seen combat ship the cruiser makes sense to me. However, the accessibility and relative simplance of cruisers cause some to look down on them. Eve is a game of lateral specialization and small vertical improvements. Yet, in the conflict of spaceships vs spaceships the small differences are what give the edge.
I myself am not prone to undock in a T1 cruiser. My undock sequence tends to be Jaguar-> Cynabal -> Talos. Vagabond is now slipping in there and depending on the situation interceptors will pop in. I fly what I fly because of my flying style. I like fast ships and agility. The Talos is my go to DPS ship. I am going to buy a stack of Sleipnir and add them to my PvP stack. I don't pick ships off of price but I tend to pick pricier ships due those being the ships that fly the way that I like. I don't pick them because of price.
A lot of my focus and the focus of my social circles is in the utility of the hull. We aim to fly anything because we need to face situations with the best counters we can. Each pilot retains their personal choices and favorites. Why they choose them varies. Some do care about prive. The PvP habit burns into the wallet. Others choose through what works for them. Sometimes it is about what they want to do or what task they choose. Why someone flies a hull they fly varies. When someone shakes the station an amazing amount of stuff may fall out from Slashers to Bhaalgorns.
But most often it is cruisers and T1 cruisers at that. They are versatile, useful, capable, inexpensive, and just useful in almost every situation. We have entire doctrines wrapped around T1 hulls due to their psychological engageability to opposing fleets. T1 hulls can be seen through the game. When I use T1 I separate it from Faction. When battleships are reached, for PvP combat the step up is often a faction ship over a T2 ship. The faction ships are also notable in every level of sub-cap as being an improvement over their T1 counterparts in ability and price.
But, T1 cruisers are remarkably effective. That is why I find it fascinating that people look down upon them. The "Oh, you are flying T1 cruisers? Are you poor?" or one may be called a scrub for flying in a cheap ship. The Urban Dictionary defines a scrub through the use of descriptive language from the artist group, TLC. The general definition is that a scrub has poor finances, an inability to use safety equipment in a motorized vehicle, and a propensity to loud communications with strangers who catches the attention of the scrub. None of this appears to mesh well with the flexibility and usability of T1 cruiser hulls and T1 hulls in general over more faction or T2 hulls.
While 7-2 points out in its application that we fly expensive things, it is because we do. There are corporations that dedicate themselves to flying cheap things. There are ones that dedicate themselves to flying expensive things. Having a theme or a focus is normal. I simply find it odd when one goes, "Oh you are always flying cheap hulls." What is done with the ship is ignored. The only thing noticed and pointed at is the price of the ship. "Sure you killed all of their battleships, and their T2 hulls, but you won't stop flying those cheap T1 hulls." For all the strangeness in Eve the devaluation of a successful fight due to the lack of fancy spaceship bodies confuses me the most (after smack talk).
Hulls are the only exterior symbol of relative wealth. Without ship scanning no one can see your modules. They can surmise during PvP when the various module stats kick in. No one can see your wallet. But there is a tangible level of impressiveness when what is labeled a 'shiny' hull enters the field. Beyond the excitement and lip smacking drooling of wanting to kill it certain hulls cause people to stop and rethink. No one knows how good the pilot or the fit is. The hull starts the decision making process and the thoughts and assumptions about the person flying.
It works both ways. The simple hull can be underestimated. The fancy hull over estimated. Flying the hull doesn't say a damn thing about the person. It is what they do with it and quite often the ones who look furthest down their nose at cheap items are the ones not undocking due to hull cost. If the cost of a hull causes you to not engage in your chosen activity I would think that the cost of the hull is a detriment.