I forgot about the thing with the Structural Integrity fields. It occurs to me that that might have been a seriously important innovation at the end of the 23rd century and that the original Constitution design might have been refit in the first place to accommodate an early version of it. STI fields would allow starships to withstand mechanical forces that would rip their immediate predecessors in half and even offset some of the more deleterious effects of inertial dampening fields.
Just my two cents. Overall: Awesome