I just came back from the thing and you know something - I wish I hadn't wandered in here or to any kind of talkback. Listening to the opinions of some of the detractors just reminds me that when you become so focused on all the nuts and bolts of a thing, you completely miss the point. To be entertained.
For the running time of the film, I was entertained and I felt entertained watching a great Star Trek film. Yes, it was different, I think we can all agree this isn't Roddenberry's vision but that vision isn't irrevocably gone. We have it in books, movies, thousands of hours of television and its there at our finger tips when we want it.
What I found was, quicker than I expected I warmed to the idea of these actors taking on the iconic characters I loved so much. I'll always love Shatner & Co but this does not mean that these new actors were not convincing playing younger versions with a slightly different take. Furthermore, I'm glad they didn't try to exactly mimic those performances. After thousands of hours of television and the movies, I want these character to suprise me so when Uhura plants one on Spock (woah!) I was pleasantly surprised. It didn't take away from the character of Spock but it added an interesting aspect to the character we've never really had a chance to see. We've seen his battles with emotion and control... we've seen Leonard Nimoy do it spectacularly, I like Quinto to have a different set of parameters to play with so we can get somethign we haven't seen before.
Pine as Kirk surprised me. I absolutely did not like this casting at all. Of all of the character that were recast, this one was the one I had a problem with but when he got the captaincy at the end of the film, I was delighted. Pine won me over as he's won many others over. I agree that Pegg needed to be less comic relief, Cho was excellent. Whoever described Saldana's Uhura as slutty for rejecting the advances of guys that hit on her because she has someone she cares for needs a better understanding fo the word and finally Yelchin was better than I hoped. The cast made this film believable.
What made me think this was a great film however, was even if Nimoy didn't appear, it would have been still great. There was a good storyline with a real sense of tension. When Vulcan went, you knew all bets were off, we couldn't be sure if Starfleet and San Francisco wouldn't be decimated. And Amanda's death wasn't played for shock value, it had emotional gravitas, particularly when Sarek admits why he married her to Spock later.
This film was a ride and I enjoyed it. I'm not going to drive myself nuts about all the stuff that it didn't reflect. What's the point. Those things still exist as this film exists. I'm going to enjoy both in their own right.