ALL your points on spot on. The character development was pathetic at best. The meritocracy of the federation is gone and has been replaced by childish cronyism and whining.
The daring of kirk is condemned and the effetness of go along to get along is rewarded.
Just because this poorly written movie bears the name of star trek does not give it a free pass to criticism.
I loved this Trek film and all aspects of it.
But if someone wants to criticise the film then IMHO that's a GOOD
It shows that as fans we can disagree, we can see things we like, or we don't like. Better for there to be discussion and disagreement than everyone bowing down in awe no matter the plot!
As to the daring of Kirk being punished, I think that Pike being the one to tear Kirk down a strip rather than some random Admiral was a great choice. I think it's possible Pike may have even secretly agreed with Kirk on the matter, but regs are regs. It also harkens back to Pikes comment in '09 that Starfleet has "lost something." Starfleet needs more Kirks in the chair, and less "yes sir!" officers.