One thing to suggest would be to play each race a few times, you don't know the problems or benefits of each FTL drive until you use them. (and ship section strengths, tech-tree bias, counters and what the CNC ships look like for target practice)
Hivers can be tricky but still a lot of fun, remember that having undefended gates is just asking to lose that planet to randoms or fast invasions... at sub-light speeds it's a long trip to get it back. Despite the expansion weakness (although it's hardly a weakness arriving with a 'scout' fleet of armours, gates, tankers and CNCs), being able to send your gate capacity of ships from your factories directly to the front line makes your defence impressive and allows you to play around with insta-mining ships, insta-colonising, nearinstaconstructing etc.
Zuul... they took me a while to get used to... overharvesting all the time, you just have to adapt to the burning wave of expansion and try not to turtle at all if you can help it. You can still mine and send the res back if you want a factory well within your control... just remember you get a temporary 1turn res-boost and only 25% of mined res stays as a permenant fixture... so build something fun while the temp res allows it
Morrigi are just beautiful to play as, CR and DN with all those beams slicing through the enemy and as many drones as you could wish for... against a ballistic heavy race they just get spin like crazy without shielding though, still amazing to look at IMHO
Liir are impressive for the flicker drive lacking inertia... so mass weapons don't move them around much, if at all... it makes aiming weapons much easier so go for big guns and focus fire on your target without worrying about swinging around and slicing through your own ships
Human... lots of guns... engines are like giant 'hit me' signs... one race I have yet to play many games as
Same with tarkas... although I think the problem with tarkas is that they seem similar to liir but with the less impressive engines... get stronger ships with living steel and the odd unique thing like hunters... although liir get better shields and protectorates... may need to test humans and tarkas more it seems
It's funny... I've played this game quite a few times now but I still haven't really explored all the races... it's surprising what you can do with a shared tech tree with only 1 completely unique branch per race... i think the best bit is always being able to salvage enemy techs... stealing techs when you've lost out on the tech lottery and taking the game back kicking and screaming turning each races techs against the others is fun. While annoyingly slow to help stop it from being overpowering... still, played progression wars as zuul the other day (I just wanted to bring a devourer to a new region of space and RP the invading aliens with a fleet of tiny destroyers churned out of a devourer moving from planet to planet... which was slightly less fun as by the time you have a devourer you also have several DNs killing everything anyway)
Sorry... ramble... but yes, it's a good game... the other forums are good and active... but it'd be nice to discuss things here too... like, what's good about the tarkas?