Most of us here at cprog agree that most current games are lacking in this category. Yet we too fall into the same trap as the pro-dev teams. We have more threads here about graphics than about actual game programming.
Graphics are not everything. Gameplay is something that will kill a game regardless if it has killer graphics.
So perhaps we are approaching games from the wrong end. To me graphics is about the top of the pyramid and gameplay would be middle to lower with the engine code being the foundation. Great graphics with crappy gameplay = crappy game. Great gameplay with crappy controls = crappy game.
It's all about balance and I see a major imbalance on the side of graphics. Perhaps we, as amateurs, should approach games from a different perspective since we are not bound by time, budgets, or money. And maybe, just maybe the major development houses could learn a thing or two from it.