That definitely seems to be the case around here. From what I've seen, people around here seem to view him as one of the better working directors, when that couldn't be any further from the truth.
Well, I enjoy Nolan and I enjoy his films a lot. They're well crafted and entertaining action films, and they don't intend to be anything else. I hold him in high regard and I do think he's one of the best working directors of that genre. Now, this didn't prevent me from watching other kinds of films, which I believe you'd consider "better" - I loved 'Amour' and 'Cesare deve morire', for example, and also liked 'Tabu' pretty much (if you haven't seen 'Cesare' or 'Tabu' I'd suggest you do, they're really criative and flawless and I think you'd like them). So holding Nolan in high regard doesn't mean you stop pursuing, what you'd call, better things. And I have a few friends who think the same way, so it's just not me.
Also, you must know that every opinion regarding any work of art is subjective - that's just how it is. Such is art. So I don't think any of us has the moral authority to dictate if 'The Tree of Life' is better than, say, 'Expendables'. It's only a matter of opinion! There's no official and established standarsd to say one work of art is better than the other.
Sure, you can argue why you think one film is better than the other, but you must also take into account that every work of art evoques different feelings and sensations in anyone who watches it. If people have orgasms watching 'The Dark Knight Rises' or even Nicolas Cage films, and don't care about Terrence Malick because they find his films boring and nothing else, they have the right to do so, and we can't tell them what films they should and shouldn't watch.
I have nothing against Terrence Malick, just saying!