You're right, eidolad; EMPs are awesome. I combine them with components that increase critical hit chances to make them real crowd pleasers.
One mistake I made when I started playing the beta was underestimating the power of kinetic weapons, though (at first, I assumed Ram Accelerators would actually accelerate my ship
up to ramming speed instead of firing projectiles...) . Yes, they do a bit less damage than beams, they don't hit instantly and they fire a lot slower, but!
Kinetic weapons don't suffer from damage degradation over long range, their projectiles are still fast enough to catch up with speedster enemies and most surprisingly,
their slower firing speed actually helps in that it allows for my ship's energy to recharge inbetween shots and thus to keep firing continuously without running dry.