The real test was up against the USS Defiant in the mirror universe episode.
Yes. I didn't get to see that episode until this past January (and didn't see the entire series until last month). I still see too much Akira in NX-01, but the side by side scenes with Defiant really work. It shows that John Eaves (design) and Doug Drexler (CGI mesh & detailing) knew what they were doing all along. The two ships show how right Matt Jefferies was with his original concept of minimal exterior features representing the future.
It is often the thing overlooked or just not considered in complaints about the original Enterprise
not being very detailed. Jefferies thought it was more practical for various systems to be concealed behind hatches inside the hull where the crew can service them without having to go outside the ship. Jefferies had to actually fight to keep other people from adding stuff to the Enterprise