Something I really loved about DS9 in the beginning is that sense of isolation... I mean, it had that right through to the end, but it always seemed more pronounced at the start. That these were Starfleet officers who were genuinely situated on "the final frontier", far away from reinforcements. Sisko and co always had to shoot from the hip a bit more because they couldn't always rely on the fleet to come and help out.
This was one of the best aspects of Deep Space Nine. Traditional "starfleet command" was more or less an afterthought. It was the law of Deep Space Nine and the Bajoran sector. Case in point, Garak had to be the most well written and complex character on the show. Can you imagine what it would have been like without him? He characterized the various morals (and dilemmas) throughout the series.