Yeah, early DS9 suffered by doing some pretty generic TNG-style stories before fully establishing it's own rich back-story. The biggest complaint back in the day, that it was not set aboard a starship 'boldly going' became one of it's greatest assets, as we got to watch social and political developments in a region of deep space, and also witness quadrant-changing events from a singular perspective.
The characters are what make the show, and the Riker/O'Brien moment was born out of character histories the audience thought they knew well. I'm sorry you feel everyone got 'pissy' about your question, and I'll leave that question to its own thread.
You definitely have some great Trek ahead of you as you press on through the later seasons!