Oh great... they've made the mistakes nearly all former pay to play games make being greedy with what they allow to be free... I was afraid of this. I don't know how successful this way of doing it is, I imagine it puts a lot of people off. Personally I was thinking I would spend money on this game, but now I don't really want to, I'd rather them charge full price for the game and then it be free than it being like this.
There is another way around it, make more than one account.
I have to wonder also if they are going to lock content like this how much else is going to be locked, like quests or level caps. Why lock which ships people can play on, thats really stupid, the community is one of the most important things you NEED people to be able to play with each other. Well it might be like WoW and the ships are servers so I guess... meh still annoying.