Yes, it gets better.
But not much.
It's not a bad show, but if you're expecting it to be EPIC (and let's be honest here, you are), you will be disapointed.
I think part of the problem is that I'm watching this show coming off of DS9. I'm used to long story arcs, recurring guest characters, lots of development, and larger scale conflicts. So far, VOY hasn't had much of any of this. But then again, TNG wasn't usually this way either, and I absolutely loved it.
@You Will Fail: About Phage, the only thing that bothered me was Neelix after his lungs were removed. All of his banter throughout the episode got to be kind of annoying. And more importantly than that, it just wasn't an important episode with severe consequences. With the exception of a new alien species being introduced, this episode didn't have a large impact on the characters or the series as a whole. I suppose if you love Faces, then you're going to love Phage because that's the episode that introduced the Vidians (is that the name of the species?), but otherwise it wasn't an important episode.
Anyway, just my opinion. What is it that you loved so much about Phage?
More representative problems:
1. Neelix losing his lung - does this have ANY significance to the series? In fact is this even mentioned again in the series? I think the answer to both is "no." If a main character loses a lung, it should matter; maybe he needs special equipment to help his stamina during away missions, just something to communicate to the audience that what they've just seen actually matters and the writers aren't just throwing ideas out there with no regard for continuity.
Sometimes it felt like the Voyager writers were using the technique for writing Family Guy depicted in South Park... Namely, whales picking out random story ideas and just randomly interjecting them into the series.
2. As you say, TNG was actually very similar to VOY in structure, namely that these two are more closely constructed than DS9, yet, for most, TNG & DS9 were the superior series, why is this? My view is that TNG was so superior to VOY due to greater actors and characters as well as better writers on the whole... Ronald D. Moore has been mentioned. While TNG had contributions from Moore and Ira Steven Behr, VOY was left to Braga... Also, I haven't counted, but I think Michael Piller probably worked on more TNG shows than VOY.