I want to clarify the issue that I have, because Moosetek13 posted a reply that misses the point of my complaint. This makes me suspect that I'm not being clear enough.
I'm afraid I don't know the exact values for things, so bear with me! I know that people could correct this, but it isn't the exact values that matter but the idea:
Let's say I have a factory on one planet that has a capacity of 10 production points. I can fund that factory completely, spending 10 money to get 10 actual production, or I can fund it at 50% or 0% and get 5 and 0 production, respectively. Let's also say, for the sake of arguement, that this planet has a suplus of 10 money (or credits, or whatever it is called... it has been a while!), so in theory I could run it at full production indefinitely.
Let's say that I also have a research lab, on a different planet, with a capacity of 10 research points. Same logic applies here... I can fund it or not. Let's also say that this planet also has a surplus of 10 money so I can in theory run it at full capacity indefinitely.
Now, if I only had the first planet, it would produce 10 points of production every turn. If I only had the second planet, it would produce 10 points of research every turn. However, if I have both planets I can produce either 10 points of production, or 10 points of research each turn, or some combination, but I cannot do both. Somehow the existence of the second planet interferes with the operation of the first. This makes NO SENSE to me in the context of the game.
I understand the gameplay desire to force the player to make high-level decisions of this nature, but it doesn't make sense in the gameworld. For me, this means that the gameworld itself doesn't make sense, and I lose immersion in the whole idea. Once I have to turn off my factories so that my research can progress, I stop thinking of these things as factories and research labs, and I start thinking of them as values in equations that will get me some result I want. It stops being a space strategy game for me.
Anyways, I should stop complaining. The game was interesting and well executed otherwise, it is just a terrible shame that an otherwise great game was ruined (for me) by an unmoddable design decision.
Thanks again for your time,