I've been thinking a lot about the Ferengi as of late, analyzing their culture and habits. While unfortunatly they were sometimes seen as "Straw Capitalists" to show the evils of pure capitalism on a society, I also noticed some subtly brilliant writing that really showed well how to write about an alien culture with rules vastly different than our own.
For instance, while the Ferengi style of business is extremely cutthroat, they also pride themselves in being a relatively peaceful race, with pride that they never practiced genocide or slavery. Their culture had not stagnated any despite their strong focus of capitalism. In addition, they also strove for political neutrality, helping curb themselves from getting involved in wars.
I am impressed as well with the hidden depths that the writers gave them. My favorite part of the Ferengi is how well the writers were committed to keeping the Ferengi unique and a philosophical foil for the Federation without completely making them seem like the "bad guys" on every point of view. For example, when female Ferengi were finally allowed to make profit, the writers made sure to point out that the final reasoning for allowing them was kept completely in line, giving pure Ferengi reasoning (Allowing females to make profit would help their current depression and boost the economy even more) as opposed to making it appear that they were converting to Federation style thinking.
Last, I would also like to note how well their makeup is constructed. They have an incredible skin tone to them, making them both appear alien-like yet at the same time look natural and biologically possible. Their ears were both simple yet extremely effective at further selling an alien appearance, with additional makeup helping to alter the appearance of bone structure underneath to hide the actor's true skull, giving them a full alien appearance within.
Comments and debate are fully welcome, of course! Feel free to tell me I am completely wrong too, I don't mind, I honestly enjoy the discussion of this aspect of Star Trek.