TNG sort of invented excuses for the proximity, too. Half the time anyway. After all, many a battle involved the enemy coming nose to nose with Picard first, to make some sort of an outrageous demand, and things deteriorated into a firefight only after these point-blank positions had been assumed.
It was relatively rarely that the E-D closed in on an enemy (or vice versa) in a clean-cut combat scenario. We got one in "The Wounded", where the Cardassian ship nevertheless attacked by doing a point blank strafing run - possibly because her pitiful deathrays wouldn't have been even that effective from a greater distance, possibly because her skipper wasn't really serious about destroying Picard's ship but more in need of an honorable way to open dialogue with the enemy. Yet that same episode also showed us the sort of long range combat we'd rationally expect. (Well, it didn't actually show
it, because that wouldn't have been visually dramatic, so we got a tactical display show-and-tell instead...)
Another such sortie was the attack of the Klingons on the two Enterprises
in "Yesterday's Enterprise
" - again at short distances. One might again speculate the Klingons went for a capture rather than a kill, though. Especially since the exact same "tactical footage" was later used in "Rascals" to depict an effective boarding and capturing attack!
DS9 had a built-in excuse of sorts for short range battles: one of the hero assets was an immobile space station, while the other was a special starship with extremely short-ranged weapons. And ENT was built on the very premise of a primitive starship, legitimizing short combat ranges, too. So it's basically just VOY that did "needlessly" short-ranged fights on occasion.