Speaking as someone who is primarily a TOS fan and a huge fan of Cpt Kirk, I had no problem with them portraying Kirk's death. It was the execution (pun intended) that left me wanting.
"Canon is only important to certain people because they have to cling to their knowledge of the minutiae. Open your mind! Be a Star Trek fan and open your mind and say, 'Where does Star Trek want to take me now'." - Leonard Nimoy