We had an interesting discussion awhile back where it @pemerton showed that 1977 Streetwise put getting hold of gear significantly into the hands of players
There are a few caveats. In theory, a DM could set the target above 12. And the DM is empowered in the text to alter or ignore skills
Even so, played in good faith, players ought to be able to use Streetwise to get access to gear. Presupposing they have the credits. Speaking of credits, playing High Guard characters in our Trillion Credit Squadron campaign did have us focusing deeply on optimisation! Of fleets, that is.
All fair. But then, that just moves the target for that sort of optimization to the Streetwise skill.