It would seem that the trading in the 'core' worlds has been nerfed to a certain extent. Seems to be a lot more healthy the further out you go.
My big problem just now is trying to find a surface scanner. I 'upgraded' (not sure that word is really applicable here) to a hauler, bought a new hyperdrive to increase my range but have just travelled to a bout 10 different systems looking for the scanner with no luck. I don't know whether or not there simply isn't one for the Hauler. If that's the case I might go back to the Sidey again.
I think for now we can forget about the Detailed Surface Scanner in any other ship but the Sidewinder, that's at least what seems to be the consensus at the ED forum: 1 2
I spent the better part of the last two days exploring and looking for a DSS for my Cobra at the same time. No luck with the DSS, and exploration in a Cobra doesn't pay out. Just my last round, before I entered the system to me know were that it has one sun, a station and a planet (which was not even the planet that the station orbits around). The better part of maybe an hour later I discovered and identified the sun and 8 planets, and the station paid me 850cr. Topping of the fuel already costs me more. Similar a system earlier, 10 planets, similar amount of money.
Well, I don't expect to have been the first one in the system, or the first one that found those planets, nor do I claim that I have found all the bodies in those systems (but certainly more than most that just rely on the Discovery Scanners), but with this turnaround I can just stop "exploring".
If it wasn't for plenty USSs and bounties in the range of 150k-200k over five or six systems, the time spent "exploring" would have been rather fruitless, except for some nice visuals...
Talking about money, I had to realise that the insurance for my moderately pimped Cobra is now ~75k! Lost it in an head-on collision with a Sidewinder, together with a cargo that had about the same value - basically lost halve of my cash!