The biggest problem I had with this episode was that the two characters of Ralph Offenhouse and Sonny Clemmons. Both were a little too over the top for my tastes, a little too much of a caricature to be real. I thought the character of Clare was much better, much more realistic.
I agree with Doug that it was interesting how what should have been the A-plot ended up being a definitive B-plot instead. Plus, it wasn't even really a stand-alone episode, but as a setup to whatever was to come that was destroying the starbases and such.
Interesting to see a brief guest star appearance by Mark Alaimo, the future Gul Dukat, as the Romulan commander.
Speaking of the Romulans... I loved the reveal of the new D'Deridex class Warbird. I bet long time fans were probably still sort of expecting the ultra-cheap paper glider-looking warbird from TOS, only to get what we got. The designer of that ship did a fantastic job of building that ship, making it look every bit the match for the Enterprise, and retaining the bird influence without it being too obvious. It still remains one of my favorite ship designs from Star Trek.
Does anyone know definitively if the Borg angle was ever something official from the writers or just an attempted sort of fanboy retcon?
I don't know. Part of me also wonders if perhaps this was originally envisioned as being a continuation of the aliens from "Conspiracy."