Well, I gave it up in stages - no episodes where B&B had a writing credit, then (after "Damage") none at all. As to why it took so long, I readily admit to being easily seduced by good production values, and they would, on occasion, do a nifty "first steps into space" episode. I'm not sure how frequenty the above-average stuff has to come to make putting up with the rest worthwhile. There's also a whole ton of inertia - Star Trek was dependably good for 30+ years, so for the past five since DS9's cancellation, fans have had a tendency to say, hey, it's Star Trek, so this is just a rough patch. It's taken us a while to realize that with burnt-out Berman and Braga at the helm, the "rough patch" is the new norm and quality television is the exception.