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Very good feedback, thank you!
I've been hard at work trying to fix up the game for the next update. Parts of what I'm currently doing are actually inspired by this comment.

The lack of pressure on some of the layers of map is a very good point. I've addressed it partly for the next update (Coming soon). So one thing I've done is made it so that in the next version travel in the system map also costs a bit. 0.3 years per jump from sector to sector. The enemy levels up according to how much time they've had to build their forces. So if you jump around too much in the system map and do things in a weird order the enemy will level up more. You might not want to risk attacking a big enemy force that you flew past first to get to some resources. Since now not only will it add X amount of time to your journey the force also keeps getting bigger.

I've also made the enemy strength indicators in the system map work better. You will actually get useful info from those next update. They will also change a bit every time you fly from sector to sector.

All of this stuff won't solve what you are saying completely, but it will definitely add more pressure and make it make more sense design wise.

I've got a few other small things I want to add aswell to complete the design.

Glad you liked it overall though! :)