The idea of the series beginning on Earth for an extended period has much appeal to it. It would have allowed for great character development as Archer and Starfleet did recruiting and picked the first crew for Enterprise. That, along with the final preparations being made on the ship itself could have made for a great build up for the first mission. I don't know if it would need to be half a season long but it certainly could have made for a good 5 or 6 episodes. This is certainly a good topic for debate.