I thought it was a fun episode but I have to agree with Michelle that it was a not-too-subtle dig at the fans or, rather, the Sci Fi fan stereotype. Also, she writes much better when she "comes clean". (I don't know if Michelle reads these posts or not. So, sorry about the third-person references. I've never seen her respond to any of the comments unless she uses a different name here. Michelle, care to join us? I'll check back from time to time.)
I never saw it as a dig, but as an understanding. That social awkwardness doesn't have to be a negative, but just another of life's quirks that can be worked through. The fact that Barclay went on to not only be a strong supportive character, but one who lasted so long is a showing of just how they treated him...
Was he odd, sure. Did he have problems, no doubt. But he was loved and considered a good friend by the crew who accepted him for just who he was.