I've always preferred the route of "The Prime Suggestion." "On paper" it's nice to have this grand idea that all humans live by on a strict moral code of non-interference with less advanced/non-aligned cultures. (The Prime Directive, for example, tied Starfleet's hands in getting to involved in the Klingon Civil War in the "Redemption" episodes of TNG.)
I mean, it's a "good idea." Swooping in to a culture no more advanced than, say, we are today and providing them with miraculous technology would have quite the impact. Such a civilization would have great power without the discipline to use it properly. Or, say, the Federation came to a culture that had values or traditions that clashed with human standards and they tried forcing the culture into the "Federation Way." (a plot thread I'm sure happened many times over the series) Who's to say the Federation Way is the Right Way?
The Prime Directive has lots of good points, ideas and uses but there are also plenty of times where it fails, which is why all five of our Starfleet captains have broken it on more than one occasion.
I like how it's treated in Season 2's "The Child" and where I come up with the idea of the "Prime Suggestion." I liked the idea of the senior staff sitting down to DISCUSS the situation at hand and what course of action to take. Weigh the cost/benefit and to decide what is "morally" right to do. In the episode they decide to help the planet that is about to destroy itself in order for the planet inhabitants to survive. Such a decision falls into the old "Hitler (or Goodwin) Gambit" where saving the planet could lead to greater consequences down the road, but the opposite is not only true but so is the idea of "we can deal with it when we get there."
The Prime Suggestion, decide whether or not action is called for and what the best course of action is. Hell, the Federation itself did this with the Klingon Civil War when they decided to "help" the Klingons by starting the blockade of the Romulan border, because they felt the benefit of Gowron winning the civil war and retaining power was greater than if Duras won and the Klingons aligned with the Romulans.