I think one of the purposes of true "science fiction" is to examine the human condition from an outside perspective, and to discuss what it means to be human. This episode has that in spades. I put it in the top ten Trek episodes of all time.
I still get chills when Picard says, "Starfleet was founded to seek out new life. Well there it sits. Waiting."
Totally agree, this is one of my favourite epidsodes because it's about so much more than just space battles and aliens (which are good too, but not as meaningful)