Another one would be to have some systems uninhabited.
I like this idea, a good way to deal with the damaged scoops issue would be to spawn a fairly regular flow of NPCs traffic that would skim then jump. A stranded player would just have to wait/survive long enough for one of these ships to create a wormhole.
That could work...
Yet another option is to give a chance for equipment repair when in fuel scooping range. Not the expensive stuff but say ECM, fuel injectors maybe even the scoops themselves. Why? Well, suppose exposure to an extreme energy source could occasionally 'jump-start' their systems were they to be off-line (damaged).
Having your first few pieces of equipment be damaged is both common and rather tough on the starting pilot. As I've mentioned before, it's not like elite where you wouldn't get equipment damage until energy low. Perhaps it could (sometimes) repair as high as an extra energy unit. That could save the pilot a whopping 750 (?) credits but if they'd already made the 1,500 + to pay for the thing in the first place...
As I imagine it there would be a good chance to save some of the cheaper equipment but no guarantee. There might even be a smaller chance of overloading the damaged item (destroying it). As for pilots having too much money as it is, if you have the money then the convenience of getting (what would now be very cheap relative to the pilots funds) the equipment fixed at the station, with guaranteed success would often still be prefereable.
Ship been crippled? Funds low? Maybe you could head for the sun with a chance to get some of your cheaper systems functioning again