As for battles, I'm partial to TWOK myself. I know the nebula played a part in how that battle played out but I like the idea of Trek ships as warships or even pirate ships. DS9 had some cool scenes and battles but even they had Galaxy class ships zooming around like X-Wings every now and then.
The opening scene in Trek 09 was powerful and visceral and served as a demonstration of how [Nick Fury]hilariously[/Nick Fury] outgunned the Federation ships are. It set up the end of the movie fairly well but at the same time it almost blew it's load too early. The Narada had no surprises up its sleeve during the climax as we'd [Patrick Stewart]seen everything[/Patrick Stewart], including red matter and the jellyfish.