If I may make a small suggestion, the FASA Trek RPG (specifically, the TNG Officer's Manual) suggested that there was a minor controversy when the 1701-B was proposed, because the Excelsior counted as a battleship in the game and I think that detail could be easily worked in with its more canonical description as a cruiser. One group wanted the new USS Enterprise to be a Constellation class cruiser in keeping with its traditional role of exploration, while the other favored the Excelsior class as a new flagship role. Due to increased tensions with the Klingons and Romulans, the latter group won out and the B was launched as an Excelsior.
Anyway, I've always liked this little bit of trivia. I could check my original manual if you want more details on the footnote.