Both sides have good points. Hard to tell with the gaming community these days from what I read on forums how gamers react to things like this. Later would be better I see that Beta>just gone post release. Thing is there is nothing for marketing at the moment from what I understand, or not much. And that can hamper a good game release for smaller developers.
Just hiring a well proven game release PR marketing person for the 3 months leading up and one month post release would make all the difference I believe. Someone with proven indie/mainstream work that can be researched. I think some AAA person might even give a little part time for such a good bunch of devs like I:B at a lower rate. If they like the project and are asked nicely.
Four months part time from a well connected insider could be golden for the months surrounding release. With in-roads to all the major magazines both print and online and top gamers/streamers etc. Tailor that to space game genre of course with some main stream crossover for extra reach. What do you guys think.