I’ve always liked Vipers for their delta shape and speed. As soon as I saw the Viper MKIV, I wanted it! It’s got a bit of a mixed reputation with people, as it handles more like a big ship, especially compared to the Viper MKIII and Cobra MKIII. However, once you learn how to handle it (using thrusters and flight assist off to slide when turning), it allows for superior toughness with its capacity for higher armour and shields. This quite often allows you to get away with otherwise fatal mistakes and/or withstand a pounding when facing multiple attackers! Aside from being very capable earner in a RES (if fights are chosen carefully), I also found it allows for quite a lot of kit, cargo and can be setup for a decent jump range (even when armoured), making it good for the rougher end of courier missions.
I wont sell this ship and still use it happily in my local RES to bring in million+ credits no problem. The next step up from this ship for this role, will be the Vulture, which looks to offer a different order of firepower for dealing with larger / tougher ships. However, I reckon I’ll need about 9M to buy and kit out a Vulture for minimum combat proficiency, whereas this little Viper if probably only a couple of million!