Diane Duane's Star Trek universe is close to my favorite interpretation. The Federation has to act equal parts Diplomatic Corps, Explorers, Scientists, and (when all else fails) Soldiers, and they pursue all of these aspects with equal skill. Dark Mirror is a logical progression for her version of the OS timeframe. In my mind, she more than anyone portrays the sheer joy and excitement that these characters have in doing what they do. And she's quite skilled in creating interesting minor characters that are interesting, but do not outshine the TV characters.