My main thing is just knowing what the 24th-century characters are doing "now". There's a parallelism to them in my own life that's not present with TOS. It's kinda like, I was "good friends" with the TNG crew et al 20 years ago (when TNG was on the air), then I moved away (after "All Good Things"), then I saw them a few times after that (the movies) and now we're back to being pretty good friends, though I don't see them as much as I used to anymore. About once a month, though we'll often go several months at a time without seeing each other.
Lord, I must sound insane... the point is that the 24th-century characters still feel "alive," "contemporary" in a way that the 23rd-century characters feel historical. So I care about what the "alive" characters are doing "now." The status quo is long gone; that ended with Nemesis
. (And really, with "All Good Things," "What You Leave Behind" and "Endgame.") So there's not much value associated with it, and indeed, the realism of the stories takes a hit when the status quo doesn't change.
I will be sad when Picard eventually retires. I suspect that when that happens, the current novelverse continuity will come to a close and Pocket Books will shift towards telling more stories set during the 2360s and '70s (and maybe filling in more gaps in the '80s, who knows). Maybe those stories will remain consistent, but I don't think we will continue moving further and further forward into the future. (At least, not for the primary stories.)
But, at the same time, Picard retiring will feel natural. It'll feel like the end of a seven-season run of a Star Trek series. Sad, but it'll feel right.
So if the authors and editors decided to tell a story that involved Picard retiring and being sent to a galaxy far, far away where he must battle the Goa'uld on a planet named Z'ha'dum, with the aid of a ship named Serenity
, hey, that'd be fine with me. (Well, okay, maybe not quite that, but short of character assassination, I'm fine with just about anything.)