How can the half-dozen Harry Kim episodes be such a problem? Cutting them out of the show wouldn't make it noticeably leaner or faster paced.
I wonder if Harry Kim would have been a better character, more effective, if they had made him more of a Miles O'Brien like character and only had him on the show occasional? And not had him as a ineffectual "Main Character?"
Harry was good in a small handful of episodes, isolate him to those.