Re: On Second Thought....
I enjoyed it but for me, if all those things you mentioned had not been used, I would have liked it more. It doesn't have to be all or nothing, love or hate etc.
It's also worth noting that it was really Spock who saved the Federation. If he'd followed Kirk's advice to pursue the Narada the Enterprise would have been destroyed. It was only his decision to maroon Kirk where he got additional info plus transwarp beaming that they were able able to implement a viable plan and even then, Kirk was going to beam to the Narada alone, which would have led to the plan failing.
Kirk's judgment was actually quite poor all throughout the first film. He just got lucky because the writers wanted him to. His arc in the second film was much improved at least.
I have to differ with you a bit. Spock seemed to be hell bent on rendevous with the rest of Starfleet, which would have led to Earth's demise. It took Kirk confronting him and finallyreliving him to get him to come around. And you can't say that Kirk didn't have a viable plan - he knew the power of Nero's ship at that point. I still think it was Kirk that drove the decision to attack.
"Enterprise, starship, the places you've been to, the things that you've shown us, the stories you tell, Enterprise, starship we sing to your spirit and the beings that have served you so long and so well"