Took off on my first long range trip out of the bubble last night, taking a tourist to a spot 6.5k LY away.
Didn't wanna fly the Asp X, so i left on an engineered Python, can jump 31.8ly while still having 500mj of shields and 3 weapons.
Lasers are pretty good right now, particularily Beam but Pulse too, the multicannon upgrades got balanced it's no longer the undisputed king of weapons. Weapon balance is better after 2.2.3, hit point inflation is still a problem tho'.
They also removed comodities from engineer recipes, so you no longer needs crap like modular terminals, only materials and data. If you need Meta-Alloys to unlock Farseer, you can buy it in Maia on a ground station. Go and get that FSD a G5 upgrade, you'll thank yourself later.
Sothis and such still works, just now deliveries are 400ly away instead of 200ly, same payout per run as before. Passenger missions can be profitable after you get to allied with the station factions, planetary scan missions in Quince(and they give empire rank). Check reddit for other methods.
But you burned yourself out last time focusing too hard on making money, you'll burn yourself out again quick if you follow the same path.