I remember conversations taking place on old BBS's about Kirk and crew getting the Excelsior. I'm not sure if anyone even considered the Excelsior being re-named Enterprise with the Alpha tag at the end of the registry number though..I have to admit, I personally would have liked that (I also like the Enterprise B..big fan of the Excelsior class.) I recall one guy that would write on one board on a local BB seemed adamant that IV would be the last Trek movie with the old crew, and that all focus would be on the new TV series. One of the good things about the old BBS's, very little in the way of spoilers, but a lot of speculation.
There is a lot of confusion as to which ship the Enterprise A was before, I have heard that she was the Yorktown, but have also heard she was the Ti-Ho. I think the Ti-Ho was a complete new build though, before being re-named Enterprise.