I'm into designs where the remit hasn't been to make it flatter and more streamlined. That stuff shouldn't matter in space. It's why pretty much everything post (and including) Enterprise-E is a load of rubbish
I think most would agree that the Enterprise-E is an improvement over the D. My problem with the E is the main dish is too small. I've also seen closeups of the CG model where the aztec plating is all just slapdash and random lucky-charms shapes instead of nice clean rectangles that follow the contours.
I also didn't like how each successive generation has to be as big if not bigger, than the previous. I guess they felt that the larger the ship, the more "epic" it starts to look, but the way things were going, they'd eventually reach SDF-1 Macross absurdity.
In that respect, extrapolating back to the NX-01 with no secondary hull might have made sense.