As a native of Asbury Park, NJ, I can tell you that Bruce's music means "home" to me. I still listen to Bruce (the "Wild/Innocent" album in particular) when I get homesick out here in Colorado.
Songs like "Incident on 57th Street," "E Street Shuffle," "New York City Serenade" and "Kitty's Back" still hold up after all these years, not to mention the sheer force of "Rosalita" (if you can't get off on the build up to "the record company, Rosie, just gave me a big advance" lyric, I feel sorry for you).
This isn't even taking the genius of The River, Darkness on the Edge of Town, Greetings from Asbury Park, or Born to Run albums into account.
Like him or not, Bruce Springsteen is Americana rock royalty. YMMV, and that's ok, because music is art and everyone has a different reaction to art, regardless of medium.
It just feels like people bash Bruce because they "don't get it" or think of him in the "Born in the USA" era. That seems foolish to me.
Driving rhythm + powerful lyrics + genuine social conscience + no rock star poser BS = SPRINGSTEEN.
What more can you ask of an artist?