So i've been watching S1 on DVD ahead of the bluray release just so i can appreciate the changes a little bit more, and it struck me that despite the sometimes cringeworthy writing and acting, the storylines were so much more ambitious than what we got in the latter seasons. The direction, lighting and actual science fiction storylines all had a sense of wonder and awe that seemed to disappear by the time S7 rolled around. Unfortunate really.
Season one of TNG has always been my favorite of the series by a rather large margin and ranks as my third favorite season of Trek behind TOS 1 & 2.
There was a sense of wonder about the universe the show seemed to lose after Roddenberry was no longer involved in its day-to-day operation.