I only just resubbed a month ago, after being away for 8 years, and the game has changed a lot. In some ways better, in others it’s peculiar and makes me think that some of these changes were done specifically to make Alpha players have more power than they used to in order to attract these players into remaining in eve. This feeling was born out by CCP’s change to allow T2 medium weapons to Alpha players.
I don’t know where new players go when they reach the limits of their abilities, but I suspect they generally remain in hisec and play the various roles there, because most of those new players get a awfully hard and painful lesson on PvP when doing a venture into losec and I suspect most either then go on to null and find a newbie friendly alliance looking for members or remain in hisec. The big problem with learning PvP is that apart from the game skill levels and fits, the real learning comes through experience which involves losing many ships and pods, more often than not to larger numbers and far more experienced players. And that is very frustrating and, I suspect, results in many players leaving and not coming back.
I therefore suggest that CCP implement hisec PvP rooms that are similar to FW plexes in the restriction of ship types, but additionally restrict the number of ships and the players skill levels, the same as missions range from level 1 to 4. The actual balancing of player SP levels will, of course need to be adjusted over time. This would be an improvement over the duel feature as that is seriously unbalanced and vulnerable to abuse.
The rooms could have, for example, two gates where the opposing players gather before the gate is unlocked. Concord, of course would not interfere there.
It might well get more players interested in learning PvP and staying in eve.