I'm not remembering a whole lot of fan enthusiam in those days. People were going on about how "prequels" were stupid, predictable and lame...
...There was a great deal of pessimism around here back then.
You're right. There were pessimistic people. However, that was not everyone, nor do I think it was a consensus feeling.
I don't think pessimism was the consensus, either. In August 2006 I joined this board because I heard there was going to be a new "Star Trek" movie. I was excited as hell. Here I am over six years later still posting here. (Note to self: find time soon to take a long look at your life over the last six years.)
The movie may not have been everyone's cup of tea, but it kept "Star Trek" alive, and made it relevant and fresh.
It wasn't just another derivative form of Trek being sold as new, it was a reinvigoration of the essence of "Star Trek" at its very creation. It was the fountain of youth for Trek.
And if I could, I'd give Abrams a big hug for being as true to the Trek that hooked me in the late 1960s as he actually was. Of course, that's just one old man's opinion.