I just don't understand some peoples idea that Starfleet is "punishing" Kirk by giving him and his crew another Constitution refit. Hell in TVH, most everybody that was on the shuttle in Spacedock were unsure of their fate. Even McCoy stated: "The bureaucratic mentality is the only constant in the universe, we'll get a freighter."
Also as stated in GENERATIONS
, Kirk and the crew were distinguished as "living legends", and that was a short span of time between TVH and then. so why this notion of "punishment" eludes me.