Not. Dead. is kinda silly. Braga killed him off in TATV. It happened.
I'm just saying, what happened
was that a holodeck program showed him dying. Surely you can see why some people would be hesitant to accept this as firsthand evidence of reality. Maybe the events played out a bit differently and Section 31 altered the records.
I suppose that's possible
OTOH the writer of that episode says that Trip died and that Archer then starts to think about whether his sacrifice was "worth it" when talking about his time of exploration in StarFleet. IMO, that episode fails primarily by not emphasizing that enough in the scenes that follow.
I do suppose that you could use your "Holodeck/Section 31" scenario to justify the lack of rank promotions for the crew over 10 years to those who take issue.
It wasn't a great episode, but it doesn't mean that Trip isn't dead.
People want to "pretend" that it "never happened" simply because they hated the episode. But there it is. On TV, on DVD, on Video, on Download. The episode got made and for whatever intentional reasons on behalf of the writers and producers of the episode, Trip dies. That's the end of it. The novels aren't part of their story. The novels are part of someone else's version of this story.