So you got Star Control 2 from GOG? Just so you know, you can download SC2: The Ur-Quan Masters for free at sc2.sourceforge.net
The Ur-Quan Masters is basically an updated version of SC2, with remixed music, added voiceovers, and other miscellaneous additions. The voiceovers are pretty good, I think, though you have to get used to them (for instance, the Spathi and Zoq-Fot-Pik voices caught me off guard a little, but they grew on me...
) So be sure to check that out, and if you want to share this game with your friends, be sure to direct them to The Ur-Quan Masters so they don't have to pay.
As for the "plot coupon" thing... yeah, that's definitely a last resort thing that you should try to avoid at all costs. (But you can stick around this run-through just to see what it is, if you want)
I'm also impressed that you've already chosen SC2 to be your new favorite game of all time... Welcome to the club, mate! (You know, I think I might be the only user on this site who hasn't played StarFlight... I've got some work to do I guess)