If this game favors "money spenders", I don't think it'll end up having a nice amount of regulars. I mean, compare ships, weapons, etc... of the same level. Money spenders get more than 2 times the "goods".
When you hit "SPACE" or "U" when selected a Basic Laser, it gets upgraded, but not THEL nor Pulser. When fully upgraded, it acts like a beam weapon and it's powerful if you ask me. Haven't done the calculations, both power wise and money wise, but it seems it's powerful then a fully upgraded pulser, though I don't remember its HP, and if it can destroy missiles or not. Neither energy consumption