It bums me out all the more that the D had to bite the bullet in the film. Those sets and the 6-footer looked amazing.
The more I've thought about it over the years, the more I wish they hadn't destroyed the D. The Enterprise E never had the particularly unique style of the D, something which was
such a large contributing factor to the 'feel' of the TNG tv series. I was enthralled with it when it made its debut in First Contact
in 1996, but as the years have gone on I've come to think of it as a dark, dreary, lifeless
vessell. Online commentators like RedLetterMedia have talked about the 'depressing' tone of the TNG movies, and I think the change to the more totalitarian look of the Enterprise E, alongside those new grey uniforms, did much to contribute to that. There was always something uplifting about the D, even in Generations where its lit
darker, but the overall effect is more like a blend of rich
colors, not "battleship grey" like the Ent E was.
I understand they wanted a 'hook' for the next movie, a brand new ship (and the cynic in me adds, "new merchandising opportunities"
) to add interest to the marketing of the movie, as well as giving us an allegedly more 'theatrical' hero ship. And it worked, at least in 1996. But it was a very short term solution, and I think in the long term it would have been much better to have retained some sense of continuity with the series that had been so popular. Generations
shown that the Enterprise D could
work on the big screen, and that it looked fantastic. Why fix it if it isn't broke?