I loved TNG, but I still prefer TOS, especially season 3 when they had ditched Rodenberry. R's vision of Star Trek is so pretentious and dull imho. TNG also improved after R stepped down for season 3. I agree that the characters in TNG were by and large inferior to TOS. Picard and Data are the exception, I prefer both to Kirk and Spock, but Riker is a clownish Kirk rip off, Worf is a Romulan made up as a Klingon (ie honourable etc), Crusher never achieved the importance (nor medical skill) of McCoy and Geordi was a joke as Chief Engineer (a rather to specialised role for a former junior brdge officer to suddenly become). I like Troi, because she is other than Picard and Data acted with the greatest skill, plus she is a babe with such a sexy voice. There was one character I hated - Wesley Crusher! I HATE precocious brat charcters!
I also much prefered the TOS (or TOS era movie) Enterprise to the NCC 1701D. Hated the Throne room like arrangement of the chairs in TNG (captain has to stand up to see half his bridge!) and the exterior design is far to top heavy and has about 10x to many windows.
Despite all these handicaps the show still worked. 75% of the episodes were dull bottle shows, but the 25% that were not more than made up for them.