I agree, that simply adding a new type of strikecraft is not the answer... if at all, the answer is to be found in how strikecraft behave. lets look at today's carrier battle groups... why dont they sit in the middle of the ocean and launch attacks from a nice safe distance (more or less)?
because the strikecraft on these carriers only have so much range and weapons capacity. this is why carrier battle groups must get as close to the battlefield as possible/safe.
my idea, is that instead of adding the new interceptor (sorry, CreditSuisse, it was a good idea) we alter the behaviour of strikecraft.
that is, bombers must return to their carrier after their payload is depleted (perhaps an opportunity for a new research item?), when they run out of fuel (perhaps 60 seconds flight time? depending on the speed of the game) or when they get damaged (damage reduces speed, combat effectiveness and longevity). fighters must return for the same reasons, whichever comes first. the fighters themselves must be made faster and more manouverable, able to take on bombers and other fighters more effectively, however, their effectiveness against any sort of frigate, cruiser, capital ship or structure (barring mabye trade, refinery and construction ships) must be negligible. as for the Advent in particular, with their energy weapons, lets say that due to their small size, SC generators cannot sustain the power needed for weapons indefinitly, and need to be boosted by a a carriers reactor (something like that) and i think the Vasari use phase missiles.. which are still missiles and so have to be replaced.
SC should not be able to remain launched at all times. they should remain on their respective carriers at all times until you encounter enemy forces, at which time all SC should launch automatically... but slowly, as though the SC are actually launching and not all 56 SC in your fleet can launch at the same instant, although maybe Caps can launch faster... being Caps. on that same note, SC should not be able to be built instantly. they should be built very slowly and one by one, or even not at all until the battle is over. i mean, on an aircraft carrier today, once you lose a plane, you've probably lost it for days if not weeks...
one other large change to be made should be SC range, both between each craft in a squadron, and each squadron from its host. you shouldnt be able to jump in a carrier fleet at the edge of a GW, and send the bombers out to wreak havoc on the other side of the GW. just like a modern day carrier, strikecraft must be able to return to base to re-arm and re-fuel and get back into the fight quickly.
this would also enable the devs to scrap the flak frigate and merge its functionality with the carrier (i.e. put flak weapons on the carrier cruiser) the carrier has to be in range of the fight anyway, and this way we save fleet supply and make use of the tactic the flak frigate was supposed to provide, as, after all, its easier to destroy the carrier than the SC.
one more thing... im thinking about planetary hangar defenses... perhaps these hangars would have specialised SC's with a larger capacity for fuel and weapons, giving them greater range. the storyline back up could be that due to the mobile nature of carriers, they cannot sustain SC's at the ranges and timespans of planetary based squadrons, since these squadrons have the supplies of the planet (and the empire) at their disposal. to balance however, lets say carrier SC do more damage and are harder to kill (being more veteran pilots etc)
so, to sum up. No, i dont think the interceptor is a good idea... well, it is, but not for Sins, not when we have what we have now.
however, i think current strikcraft behaviour should be altered, so that fighters and bombers must return to the carrier on a regular basis to re-arm, re-fuel and repair. perhaps a technique could be implemented to give you the choice to have all SC fighting at once, or have half fighting and half waiting for the first half to return, so that you always have SC in the battle at some point.
i also think that SC sould only be able to operate in a limited range around its respective carrier, and also merging the flak frigate weapons with the carrier cruiser to increase its combat usefulness and also saving fleet supply.
fighters should be more manouverable and faster, more capable to engage bombers and other fighters, but effectively useless vs. frigates and larger.
SC should launch at a realistic pace (perhaps 2 craft (not squadrons) every second or two? based on game speed, and even then, they wont enter combat until the entire squadron has launched and assembled) so that you dont instantly have a huge cloud of whirling, missile spitting death.
lastly i think that planetary hanger defenses should have special SC with larger capacity for fuel and weapons, giving them a longer range and operating time, but making them less lethal than their mobile cousins.
i think that was all.... not to ring my own bell, but it seems like a good idea to me, this way everyone is happy and SC dont get too nerfed.
[EDIT] ive had another idea, that would cancel alot of problems out, if standard light carriers did not give you the option of choosing what to build, i.e. all came with one fighter squadron and one bomber squadron, it could solve alot of issues with superior numbers in one or the other... i have to say im not a great fan of this idea, i like the control of being able to choose... but if its seen that having all too many bombers or fighters is going to cause inbalance issues, then maybe its a course the devs will have to take...