Even though the proof concept of the transwarp drive was deemed a failure, the class wasn't, since it became the most prolific starship in Starfleet.
Which is neither here nor there, as only the opinion of the Klingons (the "western analysts") would have mattered. Quite possibly, they still think Starfleet was idiotic in putting the Excelsior
to mass production.
Now, that I think it about further, in the 70s, the OH Perry class was built as a cheaper version to the Spruance Class
...But not AFAIK as an insurance policy, as the USN still needed a truly oceangoing light cruiser cum destroyer, rather than just a continuation of the Garcia
lines. Had Spruance
been cancelled, increased production of Perry
wouldn't have helped much.
Personally, I can't see the Constellation
as the cheaper version of anything. With all the desperate jury-rigging and doubling-up of components, she probably was the most expensive way to accomplish anything much...
Hmm. The Miranda
might be to Excelsior
was to Spruance
/[iTiconderoga[/i]. Except the Miranda
seems eminently upgradeable while the Perry