No it really isn't. I've been playing Elite since the ZX48K days and Final Frontiers is still the best of the lot IMHO. E: D does a lot of things right but it does way to many wrong. You can get yourself into a cobra fairly easily and even get it kitted out with some decent stuff after a while but to get to the big ships takes a whole ton of effort and grind that isn't a lot of fun after a short while. And not ot mention they're so expensive to run and to buy that it's hardly worth buying them in the first place.
Off the top of my head a Cobra is around 300K where an Anaconda is 176 million and its not the biggest hitter either. Even as ASP is 6 mil with a rebuy cost in the late 100k's if you kit it out. And anytime someone finds a decent money maker in the game they nerf it in weeks, before most people can get a chance to earn serious creds. I find it a frustrating experience myself, being stuck down in the low ranks and not really having any other options than a cobra because I'm quite time poor and don't want to waste that time grinding for the bigger ship.
In terms of pick up and play you're not wrong. There's a steep learning curve in terms of the docking mechanic, general flight is ok but trading can be a bit overwhelming till you get a handle on it.
(Disclaimer I'm a backer and have been playing since Beta, not that I can bring myself to play these days
It would definitely be worth £10 maybe £15 in my eyes because before it becomes a grind it is pretty cool, but it is an experience that becomes repetitive in the extreme even though it's really awesome if that makes sense.
Maybe wait a couple years, what the game needs is waaaaay more content, more low level ships and easier access the higher ships or ways of funding/maintaining them.
In the meantime Witcher 3 is damned enjoyable lol and if you want to scratch the spaceship itch there's always homeworld remastered and starpoint gemini 2