Its quite sad really that all these repetitive mini games were added. The X series didn't need them, Egosofts games are that rich, exciting, awesome and full of wonder that they don't need to add boring time sinks, crappy minigames, and useless chat interactions. These are things that game studios do when their games have a lack of depth, and seriously you don't need to do this Egosoft... your actually better than this. Your products have depth that other game studios should be trying to emulate, not the other way round.
For me, the X3 player wasn't your typical player than plays a game for a week or two, then moves onto the newest eye candy AAA title, they are ones who come back, month after month to play. I still play X3 since it was released, there are only two other games I come back to play month on month.... Path of Exile and Modded Minecraft.
Well I digress, back to space lanes.
I really dislike the whole moving your ship to miss other ships in a constrained tube of light. Do we really believe that races that have mastered space flight, colonisation and exploration of the universe, would have a manual system to move around other objects in a constrained space lane? come on.... we mere humans are still stuck on this rock and we are going to have fully automated travel before we have mass spaceflight.
For me space lanes was a game design choice that was negatively received in XR (and looking at the feelings on the forums, either people hate them, dislike them, get frustrated by the mechanics, or just live with them. You can count on one hand the amount of people who have said that space lanes are fantastic... they are awesome... they are the best way to travel through space.). Either remove them or make them fully automatic already.
And if you do force us to use these really stupid space lanes in X4, then as a bare minimum make them fully automatic and built into any autopilot or docking type system. Manually moving is a total waste of time, boring and repetitive, that time could be better suited to managing your corporation empire.
I fear space lanes are there to stay, I just hope the engine can cope with mods that can remove them... if not, then XR2 it is.