Heh, after being "suggested" that this belongs in a thread by its own, I'm putting my suggestion here that units should be allowed to engage enemies while under orders to move to a certain destination. Alternatively known as "attack an area" instead of a target. In this way, you can tell your ship(s) to egage the enemy as near as possible to location X (the specified area).
Here's a way to try this out. Imagine you are under attack and are churning out new frigates while the battle is on.. The freshly minted frigate will come out - "Ready for orders!" - and then proceed to move to wherever the rally point is. After it reaches the rally point, then it will engage the enemy within whatever range is set. If I have my rally point smack in the middle of the battle area, then the poor frigate will fly all the way through the middle of the battle, taking hits left and right and only upon reaching the rally point, then "oh look, there are some enemies in range, let's target them.."
Apologies if I've missed something, hope to hear some feedback.. Cheers!