FYEO was actually "adult" oriented, I would point out, moving back in that direction after "Moonraker". My point is that Connery's persona as Bond has always come off as the kind of man who isn't discriminating in the least when it comes to an opportunity.
I think just because one actor is successful as Bond in one kind of Bond film it's not going to be a given that he's going to be successful in another kind of film. Connery knew how to play the classic Bond template best, but I still remain unconvinced he could be credible on-screen with this new dimension. Lazenby I think pulls the job off very well to the point where I really don't miss Connery in this film at all.
And also, the approach to Bardot and Deneuve began after they started their search for a new Bond. They were not being approached with an eye toward pairing them with Connery. In fact the reason why Bardot was ruled out was beacuse she signed to appear with Connery in "Shalako".
Last point re: Dalton is that Licence represented the worst box office drop off for a Bond film ever and nearly killed the whole franchise. To me, that was the ultimate comment on how appeasing the Fleming purists too much was not a good thing for the Bond movie franchise (OHMSS at least showed how to do it right).