I think there MIGHT have been a better reception for Star Trek: Enterprise if the ship had actually looked like this from Day 1…or rather Season One Episode 1.
To this day, I still have rather horrid memories of how a starship that was supposed to be in existence a little over one hundred years BEFORE the days of Kirk and Spock was looking way too much like the Akira Class…over two hundred years into the TNG Era.
From what I understand, the basis behind this new schematic is that sometime after the events of Season Four (after the series was canceled) the Enterprise was supposed to undergo a refit process to the configuration shown.
The familiar connection to the Constitution Class is quite literally there now...and a far better design lineage can be seen between the two types of vessels.
There was far earlier attempt to do this, which wasn’t quite aesthetically pleasing (at least for myself and apparently many other starship geeks) as you can see here.
Also, it never occurred to me that where the shuttle doors were in the original configuration of the NX Class was a great place for the dorsal connector (also known as "the neck") for the engineering section and it makes great sense from a design point of view.
Here’s a preview of an artistic rendition that will be featured of this ship in next year's Ship of the Line Calendar.
In a previous SotL, there was a depiction that showed, coincidentally enough, the Enterprise’s sister ship, the NX-02 Columbia, having crash landed on a desert planet with TNG Era Starfleet personnel investigating that scene.
This image actually caused a lot of speculation with fans, and was the motivation for the Star Trek: Destiny Saga. (Which, by the way, has turned out to be one of my favorite Star Trek Novels to date.)