A happy ending to my "High Cost of Mistakes" post. The Support team reviewed the situation and today I received this email in game...
A salvage operation recently recovered your "Catalyst" class ship from a debris field in "Luminaire". You should be able to retrieve your ship at "Algogille XIII - Federation Navy Testing Facilities". The salvage team could not find any items that were ejected from your ship prior to its apparent destruction so if you were not able to retrieve the cargo canisters there is sadly nothing we can do. Law requires us to notify your friendly insurance company and they have deducted any financial payout from your account.
Your friendly neighbourhood CONCORD police squad.
Sweet deal. Now I have a ship that I can use for PVP focused activity while I'm learning the ropes.