DS9 is now and was during its original run my favorite of the Star Trek spinoffs. I remember during the show's original run, most of my 'Star Trek friends' either didn't like the show or had stopped watching it after its first season (which granted the first two years were pretty awful). Many of them would comment that it was too dark, or too boring, or not really star trek. Even Paramount treated the show a bit like the ugly middle child rarely promoting it. Rick Berman's daily involvement in the show pretty much stopped after the first season as he focused on Voyager (which is probably why it was so good). Even today it's easy to find TOS, TNG and VOY reruns but DS9 doesn't rerun very often.
I recently went to a convention (my first one in about a decade) and was surprised that when I would mention DS9 was my favorite Trek the response would be "I hated it when it was first on the air, but now I've been re-watching it and I love it." I had an interesting conversation with a man who loathed the show originally because he felt it was not real Star Trek because the show was set on a space station and they didn't go anywhere exploring. Now he feels the show is more in tune with TOS and Roddenberry's original vision of taking the major social issues of the day and giving them a sci-fi twist. DS9 dealt with war, terrorism, religion and politics which in a post 9/11 world are pretty much the major issues of our times.
My question is, had DS9 come on the air a decade or more later than it did, do you think it would have achieved a higher degree of success? And do you think more Star Trek fans are embracing DS9 now?