Wow rd -- I'm going to need a cold shower after reading that post.Everything Josh said.
It was spaceship porn of a kind never before seen on a screen. The Enterprise was Kirk's paramour, his soulmate, his dream lover, and through Kirk's eyes she was every space geek's fantasy. And she had only grown in lustre and desirability through the years of her absence.
That was a sex scene. The slow rhythm of the camera caressing the sleek curves of her hull, the look of lust and longing in Kirk's eyes, the rising triumphant majesty of Goldsmith's landmark score... Boring? It was stirring, fulfilling, a promise of things to come, of unimaginable potential, of infinite mystery to be explored.
Maybe that promise went mostly unfulfilled in this particular movie, but not for the next 40 years, and the Enterprise Flyby was the mission statement for everything that came after. I have watched that scene many times over the years as a standalone work of Trek art.