I agree. I could deal with everything right up until she was piloting the Defiant. I can't imagine she was the most qualified officer for the position. Regardless of Dax's history, Ezri did not have the experience to justify it. Lazy writing. They took the easy route by essentially replcing Terry Farrell's chacracter with a new actor, but cut her hair short therefore making her completely
A man would have been the better choice. I get all the reasons they didn't, but if DS9 were made today I bet they would. They could have solved the woman shortage problem by giving Keiko or Kassidy more prominent roles (which happened for Kasidy in the final arc anyway).
When was Ezri at the conn--can't remember that epsiode (damn shame, I'll have to go and rewatch DS9 now and keep an eye out for it
)? She acted more as comm/ops officer during the few instances we saw her on the bridge.
I do think that the new Dax should've been a man, especially if his character arc remained the same. Kira was more than enough woman on the main cast, but there wouldn't have been any harm in giving Kasidy a greater role--or even brought back T'Rul as the Romulan equivilant of Martok.