Glad you liked s1. It takes a beating online mainly because the production and characterization does gel further in. But for many TOS people, s1 TNG is the only one palatable.
The show does evolve over time. So your perspective will be quite interesting to observe in the coming months.
My recommendation, Ensign, is to watch it in 5.1 sound if you can, TNG was the first show to use it. Minor enchancement there but worth it IMO.
And if you are watching the DVD release, to me it looks better on older TV's than on a high def screen at 480p. That's a hassle but if you've got one in the basement, it might be worth a comparison, given the amount of material ahead of you.