I couldn't agree more about the character development. This is hopefully something they make time for in the sequel.
But I don't at all understand your point about anything gratuitous. The only thing remotely approaching it that I can recall is Kirk with the Orion chick that you mentioned, and all I recall that being was 5 seconds of them kissing while on a bed. That doesn't even classify as softcore. It's like no-core. I watched it only a week ago with my family, so I'd remember anything like that feeling awkward.
Aside from that, I agree with most of your points, not as much on the rest. But as you said, you're just giving your own opinion, so that's fine.