Two different audiences looking for two different things. If you're looking for adventure and comedy and worldbuilding and character moments, W7 isn't the place. If you're just looking for badass action sequences, then… Enies Lobby and the War, and apparently Sabaody, are for you.
I strongly disagree. I like Water 7 for lots of reasons and it is not “for the fights” considering I don’t care for the marineford “war” much at all. Water 7 gave us loads of world building it set up Luffy’s big conflict with the WG, it introduced Akainu/Sakazuki and his form of ‘justice’, the ancient weapons, Garp showing up and giving us the hype about the Four Emperors.
In addition to introducing us to the majority of the late story powers it also gave us loads of characters I found extremely enjoyable: Franky Family, Dock Workers, Iceberg, Garp, Franky as a crewmate, Saul etc. Also the arc brought Coby back to interact with Luffy which was nice.
In the story department the arc gave us: some of my favourite flashbacks, the antics of Sogeking, the awesome “I want to live” seen, the burning of the flag/declaration of war, the Going Merry's death, everything about Franky’s story and it is the last point up until even the present that I felt the whole crew got a good amount of a focus and everyone truly got their moment to shine. It was before the story got too saturated with so many characters that lots of the Straw Hats end up fading into the background.
Also Spandam was an excellent villain so even if Lucci was boring it is not like he was the only antagonist, just a roadblock.
Not to mention (as other people have already said) many people think the art quality during Water 7 was their favourite style Oda has produced.
All of this far outways any amount of "dragging" the fights had on the story IMO and on re-reads I find it no issue at all since I'm not waiting for the next chapter of the story to come out.
There is also a lot more "small" scenes that I enjoyed (such as Zoro's refusing to let Usopp back on the crew) that I don't have time to think about without making a post far too long.
Water 7 is definitely not my “all time favourite” arc (Arlong Park is) but it is easily in the top 5 favourites. Meanwhile Marineford is in the bottom 4.