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NPC parity
Emphasize PC characters

There are a number of NPCs in the game that perform a service or job that player character can also do. My complaint is that PCs should always cap out higher than NPCs, but this is not the case. in many instances, the cap is the same for PCs and NPCs. This de-emphasizes going to a player over an NPC and somewhat softens the consequences of conflicting with the PC when you can just go to their NPC counterpart and get the same or better results.
Probably by design. It's easy to start sleeping with the 1-2 PC cyberdocs or whatever in a sector and have them plot against your enemies, and without NPC parity there'd be very little recourse for them.

As a PC you're potentially a mover and shaker, not the best of the best of the best. The same goes for all the gangs, corporations etc. etc. in the game. The world is huge and the PCs are little guys trying to make a score, not monolithic figures who dominate their fields.

That said, it's good form to always try to go to a PC first unless they've given you a good reason not to.
I'd argue that there often aren't enough PCs to get certain things done when you need them. Making NPCs worse or lessening the number of skills NPCs would make this problem worse than it already is.

Like Vera just touched on, it's very easy for all the PC talent a PC would need to somehow end up at odds with them.

skilled NPCs*
As a staff we expect people to go to PC's before NPCs. You will get better service at a better price in almost all cases. It's what is what is good for the game. We have NPCs so that there are fallback options if you are frozen out or the PC's are not around as has been mentioned. This is an important consideration, as characters come and go.

(Edited by Slither at 12:16 pm on 1/4/2020)