Progress and Battle Lines are pretty good, and definitely shouldn't be skipped. Past Prologue introduces us to mr. Garak, enough said.
Past Prologue is a good episode overall. In some ways, it's a better pilot than the pilot, or better than the second half of Emissary.
Of course the writers weren't thinking in these terms back then, but in retrospect it probably would have been better to introduce the Prophets later.