A question here. A person can access the status of the warp core. If the warp core is out of alignment, shouldn't there be means to bring it in alignment, via console, without exposing a crew member to radiation? Or, as this is the future, wouldn't there be machines that could repair the core and bring the connectivity ports into alignment?
Your car doesn't come with the means to bring its drive shaft back into alignment if it gets bent. A jet aircraft doesn't come with the means to repair a damaged turbine or whatever while in flight. We're talking serious damage here, the kind that would normally take a lot of time and effort to repair. Kirk's percussive maintenance was probably a stopgap -- enough that they could reactivate thrusters (although, why the hell did they need the warp core to power the thrusters?) and return to orbit, but if they'd tried going to warp, they probably would've blown up.