My previous experience with Voyager was sporadic at best, and I therefore had no true sense of how much continuity and serialization it might actually have compared to how much continuity and serialization it's perceived to have. Once I began watching it from the beginning and in its proper sequence, though, I quickly realized that there was in fact more continuity and serialization in it than is the general perception and started this discussion in order to address the topic.
I don't know if you've ever watched Bones, but both it and Voyager are examples of series that can
be viewed in any order, but shouldn't
be because of how they're structured (for more on this subject as it concerns Bones, go check out this thread
This all comes down to individual prefrences.
You state that the show can be viewed in any order with the provso that it shouldn't. That implies that you watch it out of order without getting confused by not knowing what has gone on in previous episodes. (Hence the critisims a lack of continuity)
Compare that to shows like B5 and DSN where you might lose some understanding of what is going on by missing an episode (true the saliant points are normally recapped briefly in the Previously/Last time part at the start o the teaser).
To some VOY should have been far closer to the standard set by B5 and DSN than it was. Yes in terms of antogists they would have to change, no one is denying that. But what about characters, some of DSN's secondary/guest characters had more development than some of VOY's main cast.
Were where VOY's secondary cast that could easily have been devopled. Sure we had the likes of Seska and Carey for the first couple of Seasons and Taurik and Vaurik for a couple of seasons. But we never really got to see the larger VOY family grow and develop as we did in DSN. And they could have done it, at times it felt as if O'Brein during his recurring run in TNG got more development than Kim did as a primary in VOY.
We never really got the impression they were resource poor, the whole point about the holodeck power supply being incompatable with the rest of the ship was for continuity (from TNGs "Booby Trap" so they wouldn't be called on holodeck power being used) but didn't they end up later forgotting about that?
Every show no doubt has continuity errors and yes as viewers we can overlook them, but there reaches a tipping point for each individual viewer where they think enough is enough and the suspesion of disbelief is broken.
And really many of the critisims levelled at VOY could have been diminished by a throw-away line. Or extras doing damage repairs in the background etc..
These little things would have cost very little and helped a little.
But I never really got the impression that the characters believed they might never see home again which was a distict possibility.
It's not my fault as a viewer if I hold them to something they say they can't do in episode 3 and can do it in episode 90. They got around the problem great, but isn't good stroy telling to inform your audiance as to how you got around the problem?