^ I call bullshit on this one, and always have, ever since I heard somebody (Braga, I think) use that one in a DVD commentary.
Seems to me, having your main character catch one in the chest and get thrown across the room by a phaser blast is ALOT more dramatic than having him take cover behind a piece of plywood from his enemy's inexplicably poor marksmanship. Even moreso, if you remove cover altogether (or even allow phaser fire to slice right through it) and leave him to stumble, crawl, leap and roll for the door on the other side of the room as a bad guy with a disruptor rifle furiously lays into him. It would look a lot like getting hit with a fire hose: your shields might hold off disruptor fire for a solid hour, but that doesn't mean the shot won't clothesline you or smash into your ankles causing for a dramatically satisfying faceplant. And maybe your shields aren't that resilient, or that predictable; maybe you have NO IDEA when they're going to overheat and fail and the next shot that hits you might just slice you in half.
That may seem
less dangerous on an intellectual level, but it's a bit more fun to watch. The bad guys' fire is relatively accurate, AND it hurts like hell, and if it suits you we can restate in throwaway lines that if it wasn't for your shields it would have vaporized you... meanwhile, your redshirts are getting blown across the room like crash test dummies. You don't have to KILL them to place them in very serious risk of injury or death.