OK, I guess my OP was slightly at cross-purposes. So the best thing seems to be to completely derail my own thread with a digression about the Netflix UI starting to get spooky-smart.
I've been using them since early 2002 and on a whim decided to exempt them from my normal conservatism about giving real info on my interests to an online corporation. I think I might have rated a few thousand titles by now, and that, combined with Netflix's steady work on their customer-taste algorithms, led them to hit me recently with a row of suggestions based on my interest in "strong female leads." (It went away quickly because I mostly ignore that part of their UI and just work from my queue, but it was interesting).
So I revise my OP question to "Why is it that there only seems to be room for one strong female lead on the Siffy Network?"
Ms. Tapping's character was (not cooincidently, I suppose) my favorite in the SG-1 series (it would have been the Daniel Jackson character, but Shanks is just nothing like Spader, so the writers had to ditch smart-and-oddly-sexy in favor of blandly-sexy-despite-being-smart). But my real ire against the murederes of young SF shows with real potential is Dollhouse.
Yes, I've totally been Joss Whedon's bitch since the first episode of Buffy. But it isn't *simply* the lasting impact that Molly Millions had on me as a 20-year-old gay boy who found her by looking for something fresh on the SF shelf at my locally-owned-soon-to-die bookstore. It's because shows like Firefly and Dollhouse have been part of the bare handful of titles 'in the genre' that have done the real job of SF, which is to make you think while you've got a page-turning/no-not-another-commercial consumption experience going on. Not to mention how hot Eliza Dushko is, even after 'all these years...'