Yeah, that was the other possibility, but if you read your message again, that's not what you said...
Meh, no matter.
Anyway, if you test the theory you'll notice that it doesn't work that way.
What happens when a human looks at very bright light? Well, the first reaction is to close eyes or at least squint them, and pupils of course contract to limit the amount of light getting into eyes. In case of stars, that is not even close to limiting the light to safe levels, but it does reduce the brightness of everything else in sight, while the immediate area around the star becomes an "overexposured" mess of light.
Also, perceived contrast scale will be affected so that the brightest light (star) is at the bright end, while darkest dark (black) is in the dark end. However, since practically everything in sight will have a brightness vastly inferior to that of the star, that means that practically everything in sight will fall into the dark end of the contrast scale... which makes the objects simply look darker.
Unfortunately, achieving more realistic sun glares with the tools at disposal now would be hackery-pockery at best, and results might not be very much better than now. I think it's best to wait what kind of options the shader support opens... perhaps it would be possible to implement some kind of HDR solution to make very bright lights actually appear dazzlingly bright.
...although maybe, just maybe, it would be possible to construct a system where overall brightness would be decreased instead of increasing it, while a bright glare texture would be overlayed on the background, increasing in intensity if the pilot would be looking in that direction... that would be at least a bit more realistic than what we have now. But obviously, it would require someone to do the job of actually implementing the required stuff to check the player's view orientation and change the intensity of the glare texture accordingly. And it is very likely that there are much higher priority things to be done instead of this.
->DaBrain: Sweet shots there...
Although what I know as lens flare is a bit different, that looks completely cool.