In my experience, a complex starfield is a matter of patience and dedication. In trying to explain to a pal how to make a starfield, I did one alongside just to make sure I got the shortcut keys and whatnot correct, and I someone ended up with a mediocre result... so I tried to brighten it up a la Greg Martin, but it still wasn't working... I therefore took two planets of mine, slapped them on, added crazy glow at the bottom right corner and slapped on gradient map. Sad thing is it turned out pretty good
ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, YO!