EVE is not really a space sim. To me, space sim means real time flying and dog fighting... specifically things like having to lead your target.
I've always found that the X series wasn't very accessible. The controls seem really complicated (instead of complex yet simple).
But the biggest thing I miss from the old space sim days is the story. In Wing Commander, X-Wing, TIE Fighter, etc. you really felt like you were a pilot who's accomplishments on missions really made a difference in the larger picture. Something sorely missing from either of the titles that you mentioned.