You've said it yourself, Starbase63: the crew of the original series are cultural icons, and the Next Gen crew are not. If audiences didn't come in droves to see Insurrection and Nemesis, why would they come to see different actors in the same roles?
And I said "vaguely defined", not "undefined". There's a difference, if you care to actually read what I wrote.
I think he understood what you wrote, based on his rebuttals.
And, y'know, I agree with him. You seem to be saying that the characterizations of the original characters weren't as good as TNG's and that's simply not the case. Yes, their backstories weren't as well developed, but through there actions, dialogue, relationships, etc., they came across, imo, as being more real than the TNG characters, who, thanks to GR's edict, were nearly perfect people. Ron Moore has a lot to say in that regard. He was very frustrated with TNG's rules during his time on the show, especially the GR edict that the characters have no flaws. In his opinion, as well as VOY producer Bryan Fuller, the original show was better for its characters, particularly the Kirk, Spock, and McCoy triumvirate. Jonathan Frakes himself lamented the fact that TNG never developed a trio like that with Picard, Data, and Riker.
And, as far as undefined, as Starbase indicated, look at the TOS films as well. Kirk faces middle age, begins a relationship with a son we never knew about and then loses him. Spock dies and is reborn and come to peace with his heritage of two worlds. We find out that McCoy let his father go because he was in pain. Scotty loses his nephew.
Yes, I agree, the backgrounds of the original characters weren't as developed as those in TNG, but, then again, TNG had 7 seasons of episodes to do that. The orignal show didn't. That's why it was nice that ST XI filled in some more of the blanks (I wish they'd done more) on the original characters.
Yes, you're right that the original charcters are archetypes and pop-culture icons. I believe the TNG characters are as well. Maybe not to the same extent of the original, but TNG was so popular and is now syndicated that its certainly on par with the original in terms of popularity in the public conciousness. I mean, it must be as popular as X-files at least. Now, INS and NEM did not do well and neither did the last X-files movie to be sure, but that doesn't mean much in the long run. TNG's place in television history and pop culture is assured. Why else would they have those Saturday Night Live and Family Guy parodies on TNG?
Finally, I agree with starbase that, after the success of rebooting the original characters with ST XI, it's probably inevitable that they will do the same for TNG. It's more likely now, they were successful once and there's really no reason at all that it won't work again.