This is one I've had bouncing around recently, as I finish up the first season of DS9 for the first time. I've also just finished Star Trek: Legacy for the Xbox 360, and despite it's reviews, I really like flying the various Enterprises.
Anyway, my question is this: If NX-01 already had the saucer-shaped primary hull, that basic Starfleet design predated the Federation, right? I understand Enterprise is retconning the original canon, but it led me to ask the question: who builds vessels for Starfleet?
Even the Enterprise-E has roughly the same basic layout as the NX-01, even though they don't belong to the same "faction." Are all of Starfleet's ships designed by human engineers? We never see any real Vulcan influence in the ships, nor do we see any other foreign architecture. All of the Federation vessels have essentially the same layout; saucer-shaped (or spherical) primary hull, (optional) secondary hull, and x number of warp nacelles.
I just thought it was interesting, considering all the influences there'd be in such a Federation., that all the ships look essentially the same. They're not all built in one place, but they all share characteristics. Who pays for the ships? The resources have to come from somewhere, unless they have giant replicators somewhere.
What do you think?