The refit Enterprise miniature was truly a work of art and a thing of beauty. The fact that ILM either couldn't figure out how it was intended to be shot, or didn't want to adapt to shooting it as intended, says something to me about the reputed "best in the business" effects house.
I've always felt the same way, even knowing that having to deal with that gloss would have wrecked ILM's ability to turn shots around in a timely manner. Part of ILM's appeal at the time was that they could guarantee prices, and I imagine they would not be able to do that if they had to shoot frontlight/backlight and fuss longer over every model pass.
Most people seem to like the way ILM shot the ship, but with relatively few exceptions, it always felt like the ship was filtered to me (probably because they were mostly shooting the model in yellow light and then timing it to go back toward white, and usually winding up with some blue tinge.)
The security issues on SFS were very real, and may have contributed to Mike Minor and Joe Jennings not being asked back despite their superb work. I find the live-action art direction on SFS, budgetary aspect aside, to be about on par for a BUCK ROGERS episode. EXCELSIOR's bridge could have been shot in somebody's two-car garage.