I think you might have misunderstood, this isn't the lounge.
Dislike. Not because of the 'log in and walk away' issue you brought up, but because it cheapens value of the actual reward.
If you're referring to what was brought up in the longevity thread, I think you misunderstood what he meant by 'active' and 'passive' buffs. To be fair it was actually quite confusing. Also I kind of like your idea and have something to add to it.
If I understand correctly, it was brought up that you would be able to pick a passive skill that would buff you in some way , let's say it's called Plus-Two-Percent-Speed-Enhancement. The effect after researching is +2% speed. This is the 'passive' component of the skill that was mentioned.
However, you also get a passive buff to speed just by simply having chosen this skill to upgrade. Let's say, +1% bonus to speed for the duration of time that you're training the skill. That's the 'active' component that was mentioned.
The idea you brought up, if I understand it correctly, is that you can accelerate the skill training by actually going out and doing relevant things. I think that's a wonderful idea, and I'm going to bring up the game Mabinogi as an example.
In Mabinogi (a Korean MMORPG that is probably the closest to SAO that we'll ever get, though it's now been butchered by Nexon), you level up your skills like Smash or Counterattack by filling the skill EXP bar to 100.
Example, to rank up Counterattack, you might be able to -
successfully counterattack a normal attack (3 EXP per success and a maximum of 25 successes totaling 75 EXP from this method),
successfully counterattack a smash attack (5 EXP per success and a maximum of 10 successes totaling 50 EXP from this method),
get counterattacked by an enemy (10 EXP per success and a maximum of 5 successes totaling 50 EXP from this method) or,
kill a boss enemy with a critical counterattack (50 EXP per success and a maximum of 1 successes totaling 50 EXP from this method).
You may choose any method or combination of methods to get 100 EXP and rank up the skill.
I think that if you combined both Ragnarok's idea with Stormcrow's idea, it would produce something that both set a limit on how fast you could skill up while not punishing a late joiner too heavily, which is my biggest concern with the system.
To do that, Ragnarok's idea would be implemented but the combined total active training methods would only give 75 EXP. The other 25 EXP would need to come from time.
You could do silly things with the active method to make it less and less available, for rewarding the talented, dedicated, or lucky. Stuff like Bump and enemy into another enemy, killing both (collision damage reduction upgrade). Or Hurl a comet into a station (tractor beam upgrade). Or Achieve perfect accuracy with 1,000 laser shots (laser accuracy upgrade). It also gives people things to do, especially if you tailor these methods towards specific objectives, PvE/PvP.
I'm not too sure where you're going with the rest of your post. I'm shocked you don't feel like people are helping people in a hands on kind of way in Illy, I've been playing for less than a week and I've had 900 people throw me invites to things like "Training" or "Newb Friendly" alliances.
I suggest you get in a game and try it hands on; it's not as bad as it appears, as some of the commenters of the video may suggest. We used to have hitscan stuff and that was a nightmare. As it stands now I think the current blaster shots fire 3-4 times the speed of a ship? I think that's pretty reasonable middle ground.