Star Trek: TNG was a masterpiece because it wasn't loaded with a bunch of small talk, shooting the breeze, stupid humor, or otherwise irrelevant dialogue. It was straight-forward sci-fi, serious and to the point. It showed human potential in its efficiency.
What can you say to something like this? In my opinion, you have an extremely flawed view on Star Trek. Every
Star Trek, beginning with the original series, at times focused on characters. No
Star Trek ever was military-esque, and conversely a military-esque series based on the Trek universe wouldn't truly be a Star Trek series. (Of course, good military-esque series still
end up focusing on the characters - see BSG!)
TNG certainly did - what with Picard's trauma from the Borg, Data's struggling with humanity, Wesley's coming of age (which I hate now, but loved as a kid) and oh just about every episode where Troy says more than two words. DS9 and Voyager was the same, I won't mention the many character-driven aspects now. I don't think Enterprise is "worse" in any such regard, if anything there's less of it (mostly just the Tucker-T'pol thing, what else?).