All this talk of CGI being "just a tool" and it in and of itself isn't good or bad and rather that the blame lay with the filmmakers' dependence on it all reminds me of something from that other "star" franchise - Star Trek, The Next Generation, specifically.
There was a "clip show" episode they did during the writer's strike where Riker was in sickbay owing to his wounds from some kind of malicious plant he encountered on the latest away mission. At one point, Troi asks him if he wishes he wouldn't have gone down there because then he wouldn't be in this predicament.
Riker: "If you drop a hammer on your foot, it's hardly useful to get mad at the hammer."
The irony of the majority of this whole "to CG or not CG" discussion is that most of the arguments for or against are using "obvious" FX sequences as the basis for comparison. There are tons of examples of CGI mattes in "everyday" shows like House, NCIS, CSI, Law & Order and 24. And there are plenty of films that have tons of CGI and STILL get it right across the board like District 9. Here's a demo reel for the effects for an assortment of films.
Just because you can quickly ID the bad ones doesn't mean that good ones don't exist. The whole theory behind perfect special effects since the beginning of film has been that if you knew it was an effect then it failed. The best FX are the ones you never knew were there.
Granted, when you get into sci-fi there's a certain level of "suspension of disbelief" that has to be figured into it, but I think the reason people can so quickly identify bad FX are specifically BECAUSE they already know it's an effect by nature of what it's trying to show you in the first place. That makes the FX maker's job that much harder going in.
I think that because of the wide availability of CGI these days director's have to exercise restraint, whereas in the late 70s and early 80s you had to pick and choose what FX shots you would shoot, due to budget and tech limitations. George Lucas is like a child and CGI is his candy; if you make it available to him he will use it until he pukes (or we puke).