Gen Pheonix...not to belabor a really bloodily-beaten dead horse, but... what do you consider "looking forward?" How do you see setting a show in one timeframe or in another time frame, NEITHER OF WHICH EXIST, and both of which are in our own hypothetical future, to be "looking back?"
We're not talking about how we currently "really" live in the 24th Century after all, are we?
The period in which a Star Trek show is set has little, if any, bearing on how it's going to tell stories. You can tell great stories,or horrific ones, in ANY era.
Why? Because the stories are about PEOPLE, ultimately... not about "the newest, kewlest uber-ship." Besides... no matter what era you set a series in, the ship will move at the same speed (ie, exactly as fast as the scriptwriter needs it to move from one scene to another). It will have exactly the same combat capabilities (ie, it will be just strong enough to win, but not so strong that there's no drama that comes out of any potential conflict).
The ship is always exactly as strong as the PLOT requires. The stage is exactly as big as the plot requires.
You can tell the exact same story in any era. The era is just set-dressing.
The main issue with the 24th century as "set dressing" is that it's been used so much that audiences find visually and contextually boring now. The audience needs some variety.
So, you have three choices. Change the "ambiance" of the 24th century, return to the familiar (but long since underused) ambiance of the 23rd century, or set it in a new timeframe with a different feel.
That's ALL the timeframe really does for you. It doesn't make things "move forward" or "move back" at all. Because it's ENTERTAINMENT, not REALITY. And the story will be written not to appeal to people in the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th or 27th centuries. It will be written to appeal to people in the early 21st century.
See the point?