Course even with Wolverine his popularity came out of the X-Men which was a Stan Lee creation. I mean Lee didn't create Cap, but he was brought back into the mainstream by him. Even Venom, Punisher and some of the other 'popular' characters were created as spin offs from Stan Lee created characters.
There's a reason why Stan's "The Man". I do agree that it seems like some of characters created after the 60s-70s just haven't had the same "beloved-ness" of the older characters. Sure there are a few favorites, but they aren't to the level of the biggies.