Re: Is the NX 01 one of the better ships (aesthetically)?
I've always thought the NX 01 is one of the better looking ships, very streamlined and rugged. Definately better than ENT E - Defiant and Voyager.
The NX-01 was originally designed by John Eaves, and Doug Drexler built the CGI mesh, filling in the details. Both men have blogs, though they're often so busy they can't make regular updates.
Here's one of Doug's old blog entries, explaining some of his decisions when building the mesh, accompanied with some gorgeous renders and screen caps.
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard: For Duty and Humanity!
--Men in Black, 1934.