Im seeing a lot of threads being made asking for nerfs for features which are working as they are intended.
Im not sure if there are a new crowd of gamers coming to Sins who have never played a decent RTS before but Pirates and the bloody culture system is working as it should be. The game isn't designed to be easy so you can steamroll everyone you play. The game has many different systems and many different possabilities for victory which is what breaks Sins appart from other RTS games.
Most people are used to RTS meaning - build a huge army, destroy enemy town, win.
Not here. You are able to obtain victory through a multitude of means and some of them dont require a fleet to do so. You can turtle your way through a game to hell and still come out the victor if you use one of those methods. And as with everything that can grant victory in the game, THERE IS A COUNTER!
Look through the tech trees and research whatever it is you need to get to defend yourself. If you are having issues with culture for example look into the civic tech tree and research all the culture buff/debuff techs. This will not only slow the spread of the enemies culture in your vicinity but will also give you a chance of repelling it and moving your culture into theirs.
Remember, just because its an RTS does not mean you have to build a huge fleet to win. You can be sneaky, sly and misleading to gain victory. Use the various tools at your disposal, build a decent fleet, build culture buildings, give missions to pirates and so on. You will be far more successful doing that than just speeding to a huge fleet and chasing the opponents fleet around. Afterall while you are chasing his fleet he is taking your planets via culture or whatever else...
RTS games are for the thinking mind, get out of the box that was created by mediocre RTS games such as Starcraft and get inventive!