(disclaimer: this turned into a general letting-off-of-steam rather than a direct focussed reply to your specific points)
What does it matter if there is cheating in singleplayer mode?
I backed this game to the tune of around a hundred quid on the basis that there would be a singleplayer mode; I bought Beta and Lifetime Expansion Pass. And there still will be a singleplayer mode, it's just that it will require an internet connection. That's fine for as long as the game remains profitable enough to keep the servers running (and for as long as I don't move back to the sticks or join the armed forces; the latter is unlikely, the former is possible).
The problem is that it was funded as a one-off-purchase game, not a subscription game, and therefore I'm having trouble identifying how they will keep the money coming in to fund the servers past the initial, say, 18-month sales peak. As I've mooted elsewhere, Frontier need to commit to releasing the server modules as freeware on or before the day the servers inevitably become unprofitable. I appreciate the servers are cloud-based with multiple interdependencies, but it's not like the Elite fanbase is short of technical skills - the community WILL be able to manage it, even with near-zero documentation.
As far as the "it was always obvious it was going to be an MMO" goes, I disagree strongly.
I backed this because it was Elite, and not because it was Eve Online Plus. If I'd wanted an Elite MMO, Eve Online already exists.
I have neither the patience to deal with the minority but significant number of griefers, spammers and general idiots that proliferate in online games, nor do I have the time required to grind my skills up to the level required to participate fairly against those who can put 20+ hours a week into the game. I used to be one of those 20+ hour/week gamers (what I don't know about TFC:Badlands isn't worth knowing), they're mostly lovely people, but now I have kids and a mortgage, which was my choice, and a choice which informed which Kickstarter games I backed and which I didn't.
I backed a singleplayer game with up-front paid lifetime pass.
Now it looks like "lifetime" means the lifetime of the game, and with that lifetime is looking pretty short.
(And while I'm having a moan, have I just forgotten how steep the original's learning curve was, or are all the available control systems in E:D really, really hard, or is this just another symptom of me not being a 20+H/week gamer any more?)