Really like this episode. I don't find it too clashing with Measure of a Man. It always seemed to me the child aspect gives the stories a clear separation.
I also don't think Lal's death is supposed to be "alright" - it was a total tragedy. Trope or not it seems like an appropriate end for the character.
Also to say the episode is meaningless because it's episodic is really knocking TNG at it's core, since that's the nature of the beast.