I state it here right now that as long as Uhura's role is restricted to a comms officer, she will never be more than what she was. Being romantically involved with Spock does not add to her character. Take the Transporter room scene for instance.
"I'll be monitoring your frequencies."
Yes, the lady sees the men off so they can do their manly things while she stays behind and does NOTHING useful but run back into the Transporter room when Spock and crew beams back up.
The problem is as much to do with the fact that Spock and Kirk will dominate no matter what. It doesn't surprise me that the only way the Trek writers could think of giving a woman more to do was to make her a girlfriend of the major male characters. They're traditionally rather unimaginative when it comes to the equality of the sexes.
I can't see any reason why Olsen couldn't have been a woman to even up the numbers but I was shouted down on another thread by someone who said the writers should concentrate on writing fun stories instead of applying artificial 'quotas.' I'm no genius but even I can work out that in an organisation that practises full equality of the sexes, 50% of crew, captains, admirals, engineers, security officers etc should be male and female. NuTrek came nowhere near and yet it's just a question of monitoring the the characters as they're cast.
I think one way we could see Uhura do more worthwhile action stuff is if she is attached to command a security detail (of male and female officers) like she was in City on the Edge of Forever. Rand is probably better suited to accompanying landing parties more generally so I'm hopeful that she might feature in a sequel, even if largely as a background character.