... have the character of Trip be the Captain of the Enterprise ...
Okay, why not? Enterprise was on the air when I was in High School, Trip was the single most popular character with that age group, my friends in their twenties felt the same way. What demographic did Archer bring to the table?
Trip was everything Archer wasn't, he was (usually) calm, confindent, laid back, smooth. He was comfortable in his own skin, which is somethong that Archer very obviously
People naturally liked Trip.
He was a southern gentleman (with the sexy accent that went with it).
He got the women, even the resident Vulcan chick.
He played the harmonica.
Well, if you're going to bring age difference into it, I was in high school when TNG started. I was 31 when ENTERPRISE started, and always found Trip to be an unlikeable jackass, who irritated the hell out of me just by being onscreen.
Plus his loudmouth bigotry got on my nerves.
Reed was far more likeable and was far moreeasy to relate to in my opinion. He should have been the third guy in Archer's trio. Trip should have been keep in the background.