With the Ferengi, "comic relief" and "villains" were never mutually exclusive.
So true. It is no secret that I've never been a DS9 fan, but my 2 favorite exceptions are "Little Green Men" and "Trials and Tribble-ations". Ferengi work best as comic relief AND villains. As for their original appearance, it is best forgotten.
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” -FDR
God gives us what we can handle, even if we don't believe it ourselves.