Can you, without ranting please, despite the frustration, clarify what is happening and what you mean by "uncatchable"?
Here's a link to the save for the last game I gave up on: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gn7i180ogsmj64h/mak%27n%20money.GC3Sav?dl=1
Here's a screenshot of the trade screen: https://www.screencast.com/t/EE6GHag3fp
It is turn 77 and the Iconians have 44 techs I don't possess.
I'm playing on gifted with global growth reduced to 0.05, population to production exponent at 0.94, a slight increase in the occurrence of bonus tiles on planets, and tech inflation set to:
<!--Each time you research a tech in any tree the cost of all techs are raised by this exponent-->
<!--Each time you research a tech in any tree all techs cost is increesed by this multipyer.-->
<!--These values allow us to further inflate techs on a per tree basis, this is to discourage the
player from drilling down a single branch of the tree too quickly, and over specializing.
I have removed the exponent, and have only a small multiplier, since it is added to the overall inflation settings.-->
Tech brokering is disabled, I have vigilantly traded techs. My Research hubs are not fully set up yet, and I did not, as I usually do, make my homeworld an early manufacturing hub to boost my initial production.
With the AI wasting development potential by auto-upgrading improvements while it possesses empty tiles I cannot see how they could be 44 techs ahead unless the Tech inflation values are not being applied to the AI players.