The whole story of Cochrane from Metamorphosis was confused. "Discoverer of the space warp" sounds more like Ernst Mach than Chuck Yeager. And yet Cochrane comes bounding over the landscape in what appears to be a flight suit. He was a competent enough space pilot to be out on his own in interstellar space at the age of 87. He could canibalize a spacecraft to build a shelter. And he didn't appear -in 150 years- to get very far figuring out the nature of the energy based life form with whom he was stuck. In other words, he didn't come off as much the man of supernatural scientific curiosity as the man that liked to tinker. Just as he was portrayed in First Contact. And yet, the notion of somebody building the first warpship in what amounted to his garage is so romantic and 1903 that it goes down hard. I guess we have to accept the governments of the world had collapsed and some powerful AI and robotic help were being employed up in the Montana woods.
And yet, a few years later, everything is so together as to enable the rejuvenated human race post-first contact to carry off the Valiant mission.
You really have to wonder if it wouldn't fit all the pieces better to have Valiant be a Vulcan ship, given to Earth and renamed. And that its loss might have been the source of some of the friction that was shown to prevail later.