Start Trek: The Excelsior Is The Greatest Ship, Not The Enterprise
Personally, I’ve felt that the Excelsior class was a bit overrated, and the Miranda class much overworked. But I think this makes a good point.
The work horses of the fleet prior to Wolf 359 decimated Star Fleet, were mostly late 23rd century designs like the above and stop gaps on the way to later Enterprises. There’s actually a lot of good reasons for that, both in world and in terms of producing a television show back then.
Actually, when I think about it: the notion of giving Kirk an Excelsior class makes perfect sense. The NCC-2000 already had a Captain and crew by the time Scotty stuffed up the pipes, but presumably the design wouldn’t be going to waste and it takes time to build a star ship. Renaming another Constitution refit the Enterprise-A is more expeditious and political IMHO.
That said of all the starships to bear the name Enterprise, the A is my favorite.