Something I wrote to the reaction of the Vengeance:
I look at it this way. The prime universe got along fine with Starfleet and the Federation basically being the top dog in terms of ship design and technology up until the Dominion War. In this alternate universe, the introduction of the Narada changed Starfleet'ss main principal of being just the military branch of the federation to a full on peace keeping force always on the lookout for any potential threats. Thus the increase in size and armaments of their vessels. After the destruction of 7 ships along with one of the core worlds of the Federation, more resources were put into the development of dreadnaught size ships that could handle the threat of the Narada or any other similar vessel to enter federation space.
The more I look at this ship, the more I like it. It looks exactly like what would happen if 23rd-Century Starfleet tried to build a Borg ship, which is perfect for this timeline.
It doesn't really look ugly. It just looks mean.
The neck area is a little busy, being packed full of exotic weaponry (besides the aforementioned rotary phaser cannons *squeee* I think I see a spinal phaser lance in there as well) but the saucer and nacelles look simply awesome.
"Freedom is just a pretty idea unless it's backed by Force."