When you think about it anyway, actual "windows" are kind of silly.
There are many correct observations in your post, but I can't possibly see why the idea of windows is silly.
I for one would rather book a cruise on a starship with windows than to feel boxed into a windowless submarine (but apparently many Trekkers wouldn't mind
In my avatar I used a scene from the alternate edit of WNM showing us a long corridor which I believe to run along the row of horizontal windows of the engineering hull.
During daytime and work shifts the environmental engineers' job is not to stargaze but to make sure artificial gravity etc. works flawlessly.
During nighttime simulation it's a different subject and Pike's Enterprise
was probably featured during that time of day in "The Cage", with most illumination off, so you'd get a great opportunity to stargaze which would still constitute a real thing (just as real food) in contrast to the virtual experience on a viewscreen.
That's also one of the reasons why I dislike the TOS-R "Christmas Tree" illumination of the CGI model with all corridors fully lit (including the "tail pipe socket" cover hatch near the starboard nacelle pylon that had mysteriously transformed into a window...