Kes was okay, felt too much like a Deanna Troi-esque character, .
Yes that was the comparison I made when I first watched VOY. Everything that annoyed me about Deanna annoyed me about Kes, only more so. Too sugarry, lacking any personality other than "Nice Person". (Though Deanna was excellent in her VOY eps, and much more interesting than a lot of TNG).
I'm just not interested in "Nice Person". I want character flaws. 7 was my all time favorite Trek character for a long time. I understand that if you didn't care for her having all those 7 dominated eps would have been pretty annoying--for me they were just an embarrassment of riches.
7 was also used for a lot of VOY humour, her arrogance versus the doctor's pomposity etc.. and then there was her touching relationship with Janeway which revealed a lot about Janeway's character..