As a new reader, this is a very interesting discussion. What drew me towards the ST novels was questions like "So what happened to Picard?" But what got me reading was when someone literally handed me the Destiny trilogy saying "This guy blows up the universe."
What's interesting is this is the same discussion I've seen before on the message boards for that *other* Star universe. For years the books all seemed to be the same. Some large threat or super weapon that involves the big three heroes coming together to stop it. But with "New Jedi Order" major characters were killed, and the universe was greatly changed. People were very angry but boy did they buy the books! Seemed liked people who hated the series were the first to buy a copy to trash review them!
If someone was looking for pocket stories I would highly recommend the Voyager relaunch by Kirsten Beyer. They're happily back zipping through the universe far away from anything called Typhon! Great stories that generally conclude with each novel.