Response to "Geometric Complexity: Warp Nacelle Combinations"
Good explainations, Nob.
Here's my view on those subjects:
Regarding the hull configuration:
She may be built for combat so a neck would be a weak point (the USS Odyssey was rammed into the neck I think).
Interesting theory, however the Odyssey was rammed in the engineering hull
and the debris bounced into the starboard nacelle.
The Defiant, as we know, has severe problems with warp speeds higher than warp 9. This could be explained by the absence of a neck, meaning that the boundary of the field lobes runs straight through the ship resulting in a highly unstable warp field that stresses the hull tremendously. Only an extremely powerful propulsion system (as we know from dialogue she has) could make her fast enough.
O'BRIEN: What sort of design flaws?
SISKO: You'll have complete access to the ship evaluation reports but to put it simply, it's overgunned and overpowered for a ship its size. During battle drills, it nearly tore itself apart when the engines were tested at full capacity.
It might be the opposite, where a lower-powered propulsion system could make her fast and not tear herself apart (we've seen small, low-powered ships hit high warp speeds like the Delta Flyer.) The Defiant's extra powerful power systems OTOH comes with a penalty of overstressing the ship.
On the subject of X number of nacelles -has there been any dialogue in the different series to indicate an advantage of one over the other?