I wouldn't join the Empire bandwagon for either of those ships (clipper/courier). I think +Will Johnson
was referring to those ships available to anyone, because that Dropship is still a disappointment and it never satisfied anyone, really.
The only advantage of joining the empire is a price point for a ship with those capabilities, but the vulture is a deadly opponent to either of them at a quarter of the cost and available that much earlier to CMDR's.
I personally think the FDS looks way more awesome than any of those imperial ships, but the capabilities are lackluster for sure. I think FD dropped the ball on this one and there has been no review on the subject clearly.