I don't understand, "basic population production" is pop-dependant. Do you mean the fixed 0.5*pop production at the HW that is fixed?
We know that, it's explained in the PR.The only problem I see is that by nerfing production and research bonus it makes them much less relevant compared to their research cost, so going full military early rather than trying to build a research/production base risk to be the only viable strategy.
Anyways, try it yourself: start a standard SP game and go full military (hulls, weapons, armour) instead of colonizing and researching some economy. Real feedback will be appreciated.
And so the nerf takes out little production.Remember that at early game, the population numbers are not very high, so the bonus that each tech gives is usually very small.
You won't have "nearly the same production". +0.15*pop from that blue-SOG, when you first got the starting +0.2*pop plus the +0.1 from Rob. Prod. and Fusion Gen. means an increase of 50% of the pop-based production. The problem is that flat bonuses are much bigger (if they stay at +5 from AA and +10 from GGG), but that's being handled with another PR. Subject to more balance after more playtesting.Having nearly the same production whether one managed to get a Blue-starred Solar Orbital Generator or just went for higher level military technologies is not making the game neither diverse nor fun.