I'm sorry Christopher but I'm not buying into the idea that merging two people has some sort of scientific basis. I don't care HOW they merge or how they solve the merging. The fact that it involves flowers interfering with the transporter doesn't make it somehow more plausible. I see the transporter as a plot device, a way to get people into and out of interesting situations. Sometimes the interesting place is on a planet and other times it's in the mind of a captain who faces a moral dilemma.
I dont care what people call it. Call it science fiction or sci-fi or action/adventure. What it comes down to for me is am I entertained and does it give me something to think about? I'll watch sci-fi or fantasy or an English bedroom farce as long as it keeps my attention. The genre isn't that important to me. As long as it's fairly self consistent and I can suspend my disbelief the setting really doesn't matter. I like the characters and what they do and how they interact.
Let me use the Eugencs Wars by Greg Cox as an example. They were a fun romp and it was cute to try and catch the various cameos he slipped in. However, I didn't feel it was necessary to try and make it fit into our world. We didn't have orbital nuclear platforms for example. But I just went along for the ride and had a good time. In the same way I can watch UFO or Space:1999, to me it's about the story and the characters. The science element is secondary at best. When I got Franz Joseph's blueprints I wasn't trying to figure out how things worked. I wondered more how the unseen parts of the ship would have looked on screen and being disappointed that they didn't exactly match up with the sets.
You've got a science background and love trying to tie things together and making them seem more plausible. For me, it's part of the setting and as long as the broad strokes are fairly consistent I'm willing to let a lot of things go. If you go outside the ship, you'd better wear a space suit or cover it with a line like "There's an oxygen gravity envelope forming outside the Enterprise". I don't care where the gravity is coming from or what's keeping the oxygen in place. The acknowledged that there wasn't any air during the mind meld scene and now there is. Good enough for me. I'd much prefer watching Spock shed a tear.