Hi. I thought I would provide some feedback as well (even if it is a few months late). You modders seem to get so little feedback as is.
One approach I take is to try to keep the techs required by my ships balanced. By balanced, I try to maximize the benefits from each point of research I spend. In this game, the benefits of techs when compared to their rp costs varies. I try to avoid researching techs that are really expensive but don't provide much benefits, while prioritizing techs that are cheap but provide plenty of benefits.
As such, I often research Lasers 5 (about 3000 rp), Shields 5 (about 2800 rp), Medium Hulls (about 2000 rp), Logistics 2 (about 1000 rp), and Miniaturization 2 (about 1000 rp) together. Those are not the exact numbers, just a product of me fiddling with numbers to determine how difficult it would be to get certain techs. In total, those techs cost about 9800 rp to research. Once I have those techs (or similar techs researched), I then commit to producing medium hulls (designed using those techs).
Something I try to avoid doing is researching a tech all the way to completion without stopping to research cheaper useful techs first. For example, going all the way to Huge hulls is about 15000 rp (including the costs to research all the techs before it), which does not include research into other techs (including space weapons). If I don't go out of my way to research even the space weapons tech, then I'm leaving myself quite vulnerable for quite a while.
I did a simple test using the ship designer (the one accessible from the start screen). It gives me access to all the gear in the game and would be easy for you to do your own tests. I compared a Huge hull decked out with particle beams (the kind you get with the space weapon tech) to a medium hull decked out with Laser 5s and Shields 3s. The end result was a Huge hull of an attack of 5 and 90 hp vs. a Medium hull with an attack of 5, defense of 8, and 20 hp. The Medium hull was designed with a rp budget that was a little more than half of the rp budget of the Huge hull. Not only would the Medium hull be ready to be used before the Huge hull, but if I kept pace with my opponent in terms of research and focused that research on Logistics, I would be able to form fleets of 7 Medium hulls before my opponent was able to build 1 poor quality Huge hull ship. I'm quite sure that the fleet of 7 Medium hulls would be able to easily beat the lone Huge hull (the Huge hull would be so out powered that it would be lucky to kill an opposing Medium hull).