The dilemma is brilliant, but I can't say the decision was. What happened to upholding federation principals?
Okay, then tell me this: What would you have done instead?
If you're going to to shoot down someone else's decisions, you really should have a better alternative to offer, or else it's just empty kibitzing.
After all, you agree it was a dilemma. Let's look at what that word truly means. It doesn't just mean a problem or a puzzle. It literally means
1. a situation necessitating a choice between two equal, esp equally undesirable, alternatives
2. a problem that seems incapable of a solution
So it's kind of contradictory for you to acknowledge that it's a dilemma but then say that the solution they went with was bad. The whole thing that defines a dilemma is that either
solution is equally bad.
Try as I might, I can't see Picard having done the same thing in the same situation.
Let's be honest here, shall we? We're not talking about real people. We're talking about fictional characters from a weekly television show. Given a choice between keeping two actors who were under contract to appear in the show for several more years and firing them in favor of a guest star hired for one week, there was
no choice. Of course the story would end with the regulars restored; that was a given from the very start of the writing process. So of course Picard, or Kirk or Sisko or Archer, would've made the same decision -- or rather, the writers would've made
them make the same decision, because realistically it was the only way the story could possibly have been resolved.