We heard time and again in the TNG era shows that the Galaxy-class is the biggest, bestest fleet assignment, and that people routinely waited years to serve on ships like the Enterprise. I was just wondering then - if you aim for a plum assignment on a Galaxy-class starship and miss the mark, what's the #2 choice? From what we see on screen, the next logical choice would be assignment to a Nebula-class ship, as a larger, arguably very capable ship. Assignment to the USS Lexington on DS9 was viewed as quite the catch, and the class of '69 had cadets competing for a spot. But what of the Ambassador? It can be argued that this class is the one that the Galaxy replaced, but even so it would have been the previous large, multi-role Explorer in the fleet, sent out on the important, glorious missions. Which would make more sense based on what we see? Of course, this is very subjective and there would certainly be fresh Academy grads who can't wait for a berth on an Intrepid class ship assigned to quick-and-smart missions, or on an Akira because it looks so damn cool. But in terms of what newbies to Starfleet probably look for in the best, most elevating assignment, what do they get if they have to settle for "second best"? Thoughts? Mark PS - I’m leaving the Sovreign-class out of the argument mostly because no one ever directly references it as being a top-tier assignment despite the E-E being the most advanced ship in the fleet as of 2373 or so, but YMMV, so feel free to speculate!