I'm reminded of the impression I constantly received when I first watched TOS - namely, that the Enterprise type was the biggest and best thing Starfleet had ...
I never got that impression, more the Enterprise was just one of many.
I also got that impression and it's backed up in how the Enterprise
is descibed in TMoST. At the time that class of ship was the biggest and most advanced Starfleet had. Harry Mudd in "I, Mudd" after grabbing the Enterprise
also says he's now got one of the fastest ships in the fleet so how eill they catch him.