If a work is altered that much, why even pretend that it is the "same" thing?
The answer? Franchise. Stamp "STAR TREK" on it, and there's a built-in audience that will gobble it up, no matter how bad it is.
Hardly. There wasn't a whole lot of gobbling going on with Star Trek: Nemesis. In fact, that abortion pretty much ended the prime timeline movies.
Like it or not, JJ's reboot made the most money out of all the Trek movies and JJ himself stated that he did not set out to make a movie for the fans, he wanted to bring in a whole new audience, which he did.
There were a lot of things that I didn't like about the movie but if it keeps Trek alive, then there's nothing wrong with that.