I would certainly throw The Muse or Let He Who Is Without Sin out for Hard Time follow-up! They were terrible episodes.
I agree with what people have been saying here in that the episode as an isolated stand alone was excellent. The way that O'Brien's issues were just dropped unceremoniously when the camera stopped rolling was a bit of a failure. It was a very TNG thing to do, and is comparable to the muck up they made of the Odo/Kira tension after the Occupation Arc.