First keep in mind its a space sim so you are not important to the universe. A lot of people get turned off by this. I personally love it, its a game that I can get super involved with for hours or play 45 minutes of and not interrupt any story. A major gripe is a lack of depth and I agree. There are three main ways of gaining credits and that's basically it. However a way to get a ton more enjoyment out of the game is to role-play a bit. Even just reading the news on the elitedangerous subreddit adds a lot of immersion.
All that said its a beautiful game (seriously the graphics are top notch) that I've put almost 200 hours into and I'm still enjoying every bit of it.