Yes, the AI could be made excellent at the tedious micro. Then we would have to rise to its level. Would you want to do that with 50 planets? Even only 25? I can do it but its not adding to my enjoyment of the game. In multiplayer, it would be a nightmare.
I like the research choices. The ship design. Starbase building is a little tedious but not too bad.
The United Planets voting is not having any effect on my games. Star Ruler 2 is entirely better in this area.
If building up a planet was made very simple. Everything made so easy it was impossible to be sub-optimal. I don't think my game enjoyment would be any less. Planets generating bigger numbers doesn't excite me.
Being threatened by an AI's fleet of ships coming at me is exciting. This brings enjoying gameplay. Tweaking sliders and such. Again and again. Plunking down buildings in obvious patterns. These don't do much for me.