I'm not saying that I am not lacking skills. Currently I'm training for tech 2 heavy and sentry drones. As more proof I'm a strange EVE player, I've never used sentry drones. Never. I've always flown either shield-tanked Minmatar or shield-tanked ORE ships. While Procurers rely on drones, the drone bandwidth pretty much limits the ship to using light drones.
Now, see my problem? The Stratios is an armor-tanked drone boat that ideally uses lasers. I, on the other hand, have always flown shield-tanked, Minmatar ships fitting either projectile weapons or missiles. Drones were something I used to handle NPC frigates and cruisers while I concentrated my main weapons on bigger ships. I may have the skills to fly a Stratios effectively against NPCs, but I don't have the experience I'd really like when flying such an expensive ship.
So, if I want to spend a few days getting used to armor tanking in a cruiser, what should I use? I came up with three possibilities: Vexor, Omen, or Arbitrator.
The Vexor seems like a good ship to learn how to use drones. The drone bandwidth is a bit smaller than the Stratios', but like the Sisters cruiser has 4 turrent hardpoints. Both ships also have 10% per level drone bonuses. One other factor in favor of using the Vexor is that the SoE ships share the same armor resist profiles as Gallente ships. I could probably learn a lot about using different types of drones, but I also want to learn about cap use.
The Omen, on the other hand, looks like a nice, sturdy ship. Capable of fitting 5 turret slots, the Amarr cruiser lacks the drone bonuses of the Vexor. But, I would learn armor tanking in a laser ship, something I possibly did running an Amarr character through the old tutorial. Maybe. I probably need to practice that.
The most intriguing possibility is the Arbitrator. Yes, I know, the ship is an electronics warfare cruiser, but that never stopped me from running low sec sites in a Bellicose. The ship receives the same drone bonuses as the Stratios, but with 2 less turrets. The Arbitrator doesn't receive armor bonuses like the Sisters cruiser, but doesn't have that huge Gallente explosive armor resistance hole either. One big disadvantage that the Arbitrator has is that its drone bandwidth is half that of the Stratios.
What to choose? The Vexor seems like the strongest choice, especially if I decide to take a hit to my cargo capacity and fit autocannons or artillery to the Stratios instead of lasers. That seems to cut against the design of the ship as a self-sufficient long rage exploration ship, however. The other choice is the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator may seem sub-optimal, but if I can handle running level 2 missions and sites in an Arbitrator, I shouldn't have a problem flying a Stratios, right?