I always thought this was a little bit of a letdown from the cliffhanger, but still good.
What I think really would have jacked up the tension would have been to have *Riker* deliver the "Space... the Final Frontier" monologue in the opening of the episode. Think of that... just once... to show that at that point, HE was the captain of the Enterprise, and all bets were off (as much as they could have been) as to the future! That really would have gotten people on edge as they watched the first-run episode.
No doubt that would have been a contractual issue with Patrick Stewart, but I think he might have gone with it for the dramatic impact it would have had.