In response to last night's post dangman4ever asks about my thoughts on the Proteus and Cosmik R5 suggests going for a pure gank Astarte as they are running fairly cheap these days and can act like a heavy Heavy Assault Cruiser.
Proteus - Strategic Cruiser - Its hard with the strat cruisers to give an overall impression on their capability since they have the option of being in so many different configurations, but I'll give you a comparison to one of my all time favourites, the Gank Thorax.
Setting the Proteus in such a configuration meant maximizing blaster firepower and speed with as much buffer defence as possible. And the Proteus excels at this task:
Astarte - Gank Configuration - So I took Cozmik's advice and played with a pure gank configuration on the Astarte, playing with a shield tank instead of traditional armour.
I think if I want a pure tech II damage dealer, I'd go with the Deimos for faster agility and speed and lower price point.