I've spent a handful of hours in it and haven't managed to accomplish much of anything. Definitely the kind of game you need to dedicate a lot of time to. I bought a hotas stick last year and was waiting for something like Elite, and both the controls and the visuals of the game are really great. Also, there is a combat demo(originally for pre-orders) you can find if you look around a bit.
I liked it quite a bit. I think I was in the mood for exactly this kind of game when I happened to try it out so it worked for me. As others have said, the soundtrack alone really makes it something worth trying. Story gets very interesting in spots.
There's a fuse issue with those receivers that can be fixed with some very simple soldering. There are videos and article out there showing you how, I was able to fix mine a few years ago. I think Vinny went through this at some point as well.