Yeah, I love how the underlying resources are handled in the game. Those resources you get back from scrapping aren't likely to make any strategic difference whatsoever, but it's awesome that it's even modelled. It's all part of the "ant hill" aspect of the game.
I know a lot of people claim there's no point in adding systems to a game if those systems don't significantly and clearly impact the player's decisions, but that discounts the intangible aspects. Adding flavour text and race histories also don't impact player decisions, but they're invaluable in immersing the player in the game. The civilian economy often ticks along without the player having to worry about it, but the fact that it's there, ticking along, adds a certain magic to it all. And if the player does decide to interfere with it (e.g., blowing up enemy freighters shipping ultra-rare resources), it all reacts logically and predictably.