33 pages over the span of a month and this guy *still* thinks nuE is only 300m? My advice is to give up trying to convince him. Just smile, nod, then turn back to your paper.
Anyway, I'm shocked that in the time divergence discussion, no one has brought up the Borg crash in the arctic that was discovered in that one episode of Enterprise. *That* is the divergence point. The discovery of the Borg 200+ years before Earth/the Federation was supposed to have known about them spurred the engineering projects to skip the dinky stuff like whatever came between the NX class and the Constitution in the prime timeline, and inflated the size of the Connie herself.
Not neccesarily. The IDW comic series suggests that there was a starship Enterprise in service immediately before the brand new ship that Pike received. We never actually saw this older ship, but it was commanded by Captain Robert April and was implied to be a short-range survey ship carrying out exactly the kinds of missions that Kirk and crew would have in the original series. I'd bet that some events set in motion by the Narada's attack lead to the decommissioning of the smaller Enterprise much earlier than it otherwise would have and the construction of the larger design ten to twenty years sooner than it would have in the prime timeline.
Then again, the Xindi attack and Xindi threat didn't help ease Starfleet's peace of mind, but it sure did spur on ship tech research and development.
Which leads us to an interesting point. There's no evidence whatsoever for the existence of the Xindi anywhere in the Federation in the 23rd or 24th centuries. I'd almost believe that in the Prime Timeline the Xindi are actually extinct and that they are only alive in the alternate timeline that suffered extensive tinkering from TCW factions like the Sphere Builders. This would, if anything, explain the unusually large alien contingent on the Enterprise in the Abrams timeline (hell, it might even explain Madeline; she could pass for a Xindi Reptillian, or possibly just a female version of one, or even just the JJ Abrams re-imagining of one).