Actually, they had better X* per cost.
(* - put anything that modules give here )
Now, if I put 10 nanos into engeener commander, I get what? 60, 65BP? And the com costs about 9001 metal.
There is virtually no situation it's worth to morph com beyond lvl 1 nowadays.
The range point is about skuttles. Ranged coms could stay behind front line and be almost sneaky-proof.
But there were commanders that had low range, but they were cloacked and had massive alpha (d gun com, cloakied jumpy with some D-weapon etc.) Or commanders that were not tanky at all, but had huge DPS and were using low alpha guns (flamethrower, MGs, heatrays) and they could be screened by other units.
The main point - now there is no point in morphing commanders, because you always have at least one more better way to spend this metal. In the past nice com build's could be comparable to unit blob in certain situation, now it's just a piece of walking junk, and the only reason not to reclaim it, is because it gives u 5m/e per second...