Indeed, on normal the game becomes enjoyable (it's just too easy on lower settings - "What ?! That Sathanas' beam hit me and I lost 50% hull ?! Can't be !!!"), and on easier it's really challenging. However, I've noted an interesting thing - although the capship's defences are a nightmare on >normal, your warheads too more damage. I have played the Bearbeating dozens of times on Easy, and not once was I able to knock down more than two beams. I turned on Normal, and I got all four without a sweat.
And back to the Boa discussion - the tech database actually doesn't lie. The Boa actually handles better than Ursa. I have tested those two intensively on Normal on Slaying the Revana, and the Ursa felt more like brick. Any hard turns were an abstraction, which was especially visible while trying to maneuver just outside Ravana's hull. I just kept hitting it ^^ Also, Boa was harder to hit for Ravana's turrets, while Ursa was mercilessly slayed.
Boa looks ugly for many people (however I actually like it ;D), and it's anti-fighter capabilities are well poor. However, who is such a wacko to dogfight in a heavy bomber ?! The turret on Ursa or Medusa *never* ever killed a single fighter for me, and dogfighting felt like a sumo fighter trying to catch a cockroach
It was futile, to say the least. From canon/logical point of view, the designers never even dreamed that somebody would be insane enough to dogfight in their designs. Check out the modern bombers - they are big, sluggish and defenceless - attacking such targets is a fighter pilot's dream. Despite what the game shows us, pilots are NOT supposed to be one-men armies