As far as the TNG-lite rule goes, I would say that'll be more relevant early in the show. But even then, I personally feel like the constant tidbits we get about the characters in those episodes, which add up to far more substance later on down the line, do something to set DS9 apart from the other series, sometimes even elevating a bad episode to at least...worthwhile for something, and a meh episode to something OK.
Regarding Cardassian nuance...you see more of that later. The Guard does have its share of undisciplined idiots like Jasad though--who clearly
had some severe anger management problems.