Did TNG even have a lot of secondary characters to develop in the first place, I mean aside from Barclay? I can understand why TNG didn't try that (they were trying to get the show established in the first 3 seasons and revitalize Trek as a TV franchise and thus would've spent time focusing only on the main cast. By the time it was a hit they'd spent to much time on the main cast they figured there was no point in doing lots of secondary character stuff), whereas DS9 could fallback on TNG's success and thus make more secondary characters for more usage. VOY and ENT were basically made to make money, much to the staff's annoyance, and thus UPN wouldn't have let them make lots of secondary characters for developmental use (it would cost more). But I'm afraid I'll never agree with the "DS9 is just inherently better" crowd, mainly because...well DS9 wasn't that much better (hey, if they can say "DS9 is just better" I can say this). It may fit better with the more serial nature of shows and darker nature that exists today, but that still doesn't make it the ultimate.