I think the specializations do have merit as it makes a player focus on certain choices. But, I also think the other options should be researchable at some point, perhaps at a slower rate or at more cost. Think about it, why must I choose to have a faster, longer range, or more space option for my ship? Why would I not choose all 3? What navy would not want to pursue all 3 options? Now some of the options I could see would be mutually exclusive such as the World War I choices made by Germany and Britain...
Britain choce quantity over quality and they limited themselves to using the existing Shipyards and Docks so the British Dreadnoughts could only be a certain maximum size. The Germans, on the other hand, built their ships wider and better subdivided so that when they suffered underwater damage they did not have as much problem staying afloat.
The German Navy in WW1 was short sighted in that their ships were very short range and crew accomodations were not well suited to a long patrol. Whereas, the British fleet was of course designed to go anywhere in the world and was very long ranged and designed accordingly.
So. specializations need to be sort of divided into those that can all be picked up eventually, and as those that are mutually exclusive choices. Even then, for instance, what would have prevented the Germans from changing their ideas and building longer range commerce raiders like they did in WW2?