And notice that a lot of the defense of Kirk are coming from the men. I'd like to know how much of that is really childhood hero worship talking?
I highly suspect that Kirk would be looked down upon as a scumbag if he were to be created on a modern TV show. He's a product of his time, and he always will be. Hell, Stargate: Atlantis is a fine example. References to Kirk are thrown around as insults there to characters who've barely scratched the surface of Kirk's affinity for women.
Kirk's actually one of the things I totally disliked about TOS, but I can accept that that was okay for when TOS was made. Don't like it, but I can accept it. And that's the beauty of the whole thing.
That's the thing about likeable/unlikeable characters, it's a thoroughly subjective question. What some of us consider to be heroic and an example we want to follow, others may consider to be scummy and loathesome. *shrug* TEHO.