The trading aspect of the game isn't for everyone, so you can also skip it entirely and focus on missions, which run the gamut from espionage to escort to straight up search-and-destroy. Missions pay well but get more difficult as you gain combat experience. Trading, on the other hand, isn't nearly as risky (though you can get in trouble for trading in contraband video games), but doesn't pay as well in the short term.
The sensation of spaceflight counts as one of DS1's high points. While you don't get to experience completely free Newtonian physics, a fully loaded ship does have greater momentum than an empty one, and as a result takes longer to slow down from full speed. In combat, you actually have to temporarily dump your cargo just to be able to fight effectively, then retrieve it afterwards.
The space environment also brings its own challenges: Asteroids litter some star systems, while others are shrouded in a thick fog-like plasma. Some tasks require you to fly inside of huge asteroids to collect objects. Visibility in space is rarely good, and you could do your ship serious damage ploughing into a space rock at full speed. Fortunately, all but the biggest asteroids are destructible, so fire away to clear your flight path.
And space is a big place. Unlike many spaceflight sims, DarkStar One doesn't force you to suffer the interminably slow flight from one point to another in real time - something that has plagued games such as Jumpgate and Earth And Beyond. A feature called Time Acceleration lets you temporarily spin the clock faster and get to your destination on the other end of the solar system in record time. You'll wish you had one for your morning commute.