I liked Babel
better than you did (or didn't dislike it as much as you did). The plot was thin but the character interaction saved it for me, and I found it interesting that, contrary to what you'd expect after seeing Emissary
, the main villains in the next 3 episodes were all Bajorans: a nationalist extremist/terrorist, a black market criminal and a prejudiced lynch mob, and an unethical scientist who also turned out to be a selfish prick. (Of course, I loved the way Kira forced him to help.)
Right from the start, Bajorans were portrayed as a real, believable race that has all sorts of people within it - I don't think any other race in Trek has been that versatile, though Cardassians would later come close, also thanks to DS9. Bajorans really seem much closer to us, the real life humans, than the Trek Humans.