You seriously don't see how The Cage or The Motion Picture resemble literary science-fiction more than Abrams Trek?
That's the approach I prefer. Stories driven by ideas and not action. I'm in the minority but I refuse to be spat on for it. I was watching DS9's Duet earlier and loved it. Nuanced characterisation and not at all patronising unlike this Obi-Wan Pike business.
But I'm sure the Abrams acolytes will be here to tell me that Abrams Trek made more money so it's better. Completely missing the point, as per usual.
Well I'm not spitting on you for it, but I would say you're looking for your prefernence in the wrong place. Trek is intelligent within
it genre, which is action-adventure. I like "The Cage", too. But remember, while NBC respected its qualities, they rejected it. "Star Trek" was sold to them as an action-adventure series and that's what they wanted to see. As action-adventure, it's been pretty well done.
Maybe what you're saying is Trek is best left to TV. Have the four or five episodes of phaser battles and hand-wringing villains, then sneak in a more thougtful or deeper-themed episode. Like sneaking vegetables into the pizza sauce. But popular culture, where Trek belongs, is not the place to nourish your mind. You'll end up malnourished. It's a place to treat yourself to some delicious high quality junk food. Go elsewhere for your nourishment.
I'd say one other thing, in my opinion, if the order of the first two Trek movies had been TWOK then TMP, TMP may have mortally wounded the franchise. TMP was a commercial success because while it was hardly a bad movie, it also had all the hype of being the first "Star Trek" movie, and fans simply had to go see it. Some loved it; others, as well as general audiences, not so much. It certainly didn't create new fans. Bear in mind while it made money, it still underperformed for what was expected of it, and the budget for TWOK was smaller as a result.