Good one. That's a wonderful homage.
I think the main problem with the refit idea was that the Phase II enterprise model looked a lot more like the original than the final TMP one, but by then the script revolved around the idea of a refit Enterprise (rather than a successor) sitting in dry dock. So they were committed.
I think it was better that they redesign it more aggressively than to have gone with the Phase II enterprise, as the final refit model has aged a lot better. The Phase II model kind of looks like it's in a half-way metamorphosis and carries over too many 60s-isms.