Lets start with the rejects, the ships that no sane person would ever take as their first choice.
Star Blazers (the TV version I knew as a child) is without merit; I enjoyed it. But I am not taking an Imperial Japanese ship as my primary. Or secondary. Yeah, I don't want it. Not anymore than I would want a space version of the Bismarck.
Doctor Who. With a passion. Probably because I was made to watch the show in the early 1980s and I know how much it sucks. Even without the £500/episode budget for set design and effects, the show is bound to suck. And not just because it can just reset things whenever it wants with a new Doctor, because they can all travel through time and muck things up. No, wait. That is why the show sucks so much. It demands no continuity. It is the on-going version of a perpetual Marvel What-If universe, where the "what-ifs" in question can always be changed. I hate Doctor Who more than I hate the JJ Abrams version of Star Trek (which I do not consider to be Star Trek, and I hate like Fred Phelps thinks God hates homosexuals). Having written all that, I'm sure the ability to travel through time gives the TARDIS some virtue. But apparently you can just fly around the Sun and travel in time. Or through some weird Borg energy pulse. Or you can microwave a container of JiffyPop near a Supernova. Besides, there is the moral imperative to not time travel (as it almost guarantees invalidating the choices and actions exercised by other individuals). Besides, no matter how big the TARDIS is on the inside, it would be a nightmare to dock the Veritech to it. Now, were it stocked with infinite fresh cookies...well, I'd still hate Doctor Who, but I'd take the TARDIS and then just sell the cookies. I'd eat many more than I should, but I'd go into the cookie selling business and give up the notion of exploring the galaxy.
|Maybe the INSS Lenin|
So what ships are worth considering? Probably a lot more than i could ever think of. The INSS Lenin seems like a fine choice, but I would be more in favor of the MacArthur (had it not been destroyed). Oh, and I have no idea if the model I found on the internet is an accurate representation of it. Hard to choose a ship if you don't know what it really looks like. It certainly has some degree of ass-kicking ability, but the hard science fiction of The Mote in God's Eye is going to leave it severely underpowered against the more fantastical craft available. Besides, the Lenin needs a huge crew as well.
NSEA ProtectorTalk about an idiot-proof ship – even Fred Kwan could make it work. Well, that is one of the advantages of having fans of the TV show build the ship. I'm not really sure why this isn't my ultimate choice. It has effective weaponry, travels, fast, has transporter-like technology, and apparently can send people across the universe by use of some kind of goo and a wormhole. It also has the most ridiculous lay-out (because of the fidelity to the fake TV show). If it comes with Gwen DeMarco, it may become my back-up choice.
It also has one of the better stories associated with it. Alien command ship crashed on Earth (which forces a global war to come to an end), gets rebuilt and (maybe) improved, inadvertently fires the first shot in a war that destroys more than 80% of the planet and has to keep thousands of civilians safe inside after accidentally transporting an island with it to Pluto. It is the only reason humanity survives the conflict. We'll just all agree to ignore its ignominious end.
USS Voyager, well I wouldn't expect anyone to take me seriously. Voyager may not be as generally disliked as Enterprise (and for good reasons), but it certainly is not super-loved, even in Star Trek circles. That is really neither here nor there when it comes to the ship, though. It has pretty much everything that makes UFP ships kick ass: phasers, photon torpedoes (even quantum torpedoes), transporters, warp drive, replicators, and – most importantly – holodecks. As a matter of fact, the lack of holodeck and cramped quarters is why the USS Defiant didn't make the list. The Defiant looks awesome and has unbelievable killing power. It even had a cloaking device for a while. But it is just a warship, and I want more. So why something that is essentially the Voyager instead of any of the Enterprises? First, I really do like the look. There is something fake looking about TOS's Enterprise, and while that is understandable, it isn't something I want. Sure, the Planet Express Ship is about as fake looking as possible, but it is from a cartoon. The Enterprise-D looks a little better and has all of the amenities, but it has that ridiculous saucer-separation thing going on. I really am not in favor of that. No, the Voyager can land on planets. Boom! It's huge to me. The Intrepid Class ship has enough room for the Veritech fighter (good-bye, one set of less than cool shuttlecraft), which is a plus. Now, I do want to get rid of those stupid bio-neural gel packs (since they can get infected and replacements cannot be replicated). It also has the EMH.
Now I never understood how it was that the Sick Bay could be fitted with holo-emitters but nobody ever thought to put them anywhere else. This is my cheat around having to have a large crew. If we accept that the mobile emitter cannot be replicated because it is too technologically advanced (despite the fact that DS9 establishes that replicators can duplicate a device without any understanding of the device being necessary), why not just place holo-emitters on the bridge and engineering? It cuts down on the need to have real people in positions to do the important things. There cannot be a huge difference in power usage for running the emitters versus food replicators, sonic showers, and life support for real crew members. I would want the option the have a lot of holo-crew members is what I am saying. And not just because then I could guarantee that I'd never end up with a Wesley Crusher-type person anywhere important. Because it would just be programs in all the important posts. Maybe. But definitely no whiny teens.
So, yeah. I want a craft that can land, doesn't destroy space by going to warp, has good weaponry, the ability to manufacture just about anything necessary, and multiple holodecks. And, for my money, there isn't much that does all of that better than the Intrepid Class.