That's interesting. To me, early DS9 felt more TNG with its more episodic format, while later seasons became more serialized (or had more layers of continuing arcs) and lots of guest stars who came back often and had depth and in some cases arcs of their own which was what made it more unique to me.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing off DS9 as a subpar series. I just felt that the franchise fell back on its comfort zone when the ideas this particular series started out with weren't commercial enough.
Too much TNG carried over to DS9, I felt. They should've braved a whole new production crew and Creative Team.
I love Herman Zimmerman's take on the Enterprise-D, it's bridge and hallways. Hated the engine room with a heart-felt passion and just about everything else Herman ever did. "Z" is a lovable guy, a sweet soul. But I hate his design sense, for the most part, which is all up in DS9, everywhere you look at, on and in the station.