A good summary of the anti-Dead perspective.
On a personal note: back in the 80’s I found myself in a short, ill-advised relationship with a neo-hippie chick. Because I will listen to anything once, I allowed myself to be subjected to a fair cross-section of their live and studio recordings. What I heard was not one, but TWO drummers who couldn’t keep time (where else but in 60’s San Francisco could two such creatures be found?), a bass player who aimlessly noodles when he should be anchoring the song, meandering guitar solos (see article for a good description of those), silly-sounding harmonies, and songs that were either watered down country–country without the requisite redneck element–or jazz without the requisite improvisational talent. In short, to my ears, they couldn’t play, sing, or write. Other than that, great band.
And while it’s true that I was prejudiced because I hate jam bands, it’s also true that I at least respect ones who can play. I never liked the Allman Bros., but I’m forced to admit their musicianship was top-notch. Hell, Duane Allman even worked as a session guy in Muscle Shoals. I believe Jerry Garcia would have been laughed out of the room.