I'm not sure where I stand on the mechanics of building Starbases. I don't really mind the micro personally, but I can see where it could get cumbersome if building lots of Starbases was actually an efficient thing to do.
But my thoughts on Starbases as they stand currently:
-A very inefficient use of resources(Maintenance reduction coming patch 5.3 will help, maybe)
-Prototype weapons aren't really in yet, so there's not even a mining rush(No early game need, hopefully this will change soon as well)
-The % bonuses(Manufacturing, Science, Income), Morale, Sensor Range, Effective Range, Attack, Defense all don't stack with the previous module of same type. So if you think of what you could have done with all that production to get to more advanced modules(not to mention the research cost to even be able to build these modules), then the break-even equation starts to get pretty lopsided in favor of ignoring starbases altogether.
-Ships are currently broken as pure sensor ships can reach obscene ranges, so you don't need starbases for that either.
So what are Starbases good at in current form?
-Extending ship range
-Getting resources for support ships
That's the only reason to have them currently. You could argue the Approval bonus isn't too bad, but it's still not worth the current maintenance.
Trust me, I want a reason to perfectly place 5 Starbases around a single planet(8 is possible) and reap the bonuses, but right now its not worth the minimal gains for having diverted all those resources from other projects(aka - An unstoppable army that takes over the universe!).
So I'd really like a good balance pass(BUFF!!!) before I start debating the mechanics of building them.
I NEED a reason to build them first!
PS-You can build as many Constructor modules on a ship as you want. They do work, just not with the Request mechanic. But if you build a Shipyard instead of a Starbase, it'll delete any extra Constructor modules. So use to build Starbases only.