toggle on/off for the items is fine but i do thing they need to tell people they are hotkeys a bit more clearly like it does for the other modules,
the toggle forces a little more micro management and remembering to turn the shields off, i for one would like the boost as a hold modifier but it takes too nanny fingers to move, activate modules as it is i dont want to hold down for my shields.
[also the wheel messes with my aim ]
[when i remember to use it] there is even a quick toggle off button. but then again i tend to leave my shields up till they go down on their own when i am waiting for my doom.
but i do agree with the op's problem of needing to be levels to get other ships, the reference to WoT is dismiss able because your actually getting better tanks, you want a better arty you play arty etc these other ships are side-grades and there is already module progression and that means you will already have stuff to put on the other ships when you get them it would be nice to be able to use all the hulls first with basics or even make you work your way up from corvets to dreads that seems like a more realistic progression that they wouldn't let you fly a huge ship till you can prove yourself a little