I'm trying something a bit different in my new Heroic Star Hero campaign. (So this might not work for you or give you the type of campaign you're looking for. But, like BDM said, things vary from campaign to campaign).
I told my players that while the CV limits where from 3-6, I didn't want to see a raw CV value higher than 4. Although if the player had a good enough concept/reason, we could probably work something out. I wanted them to use Combat Skill levels to reach the limit.
I also, at the start of the game, wanted to include CV gained from Martials but not those imparted by equipment.
So far its worked out. I've got some decent characters that aren't pushing, in my opinion, ungodly combat values yet are still fairly competent.
As for Penalty Skill levels, since those are fairly cheep and I've seen what can happen when they go unchecked, I've instituted a sort of "NCM" on them. First two are regular price, next two are double, next two are double that. So no +8 vs Head with THIS pistol for 8 points.
Now, we haven't actually gotten to the point where we've actually tested this. So while it, to me, looks good on paper it is definitely subject to change if I find it's too clunky and/or TOO expensive for the characters.
Edit: I'm not sure if this answers your question or not but I'm leaving it just in case the information might prove useful.
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