I thought it was a great spin, and if it was unsettling, well, it was supposed to be. Up until this point, our Star Trek leads were very "Mary Sue." Everyone is perfect and if they do have a shortcoming it's the kind a perfect person would have like "I just work too hard." To start us off with a Commander with some issues to work through is more compelling that what we'd previously given. That exchange right there is why DS9 > TNG.
If your friend doesn't like it, that's cool. He can always find a new friend, LOL.