The idea of Rose was not to hit it out of the park on the first try. It was very much a "soft relaunch" and as such I thought it did the job fine. Does it hold up as well as later episodes now that we've experienced classics like Blink and The Waters of Mars? Of course not. But most TNG fans think Encounter at Farpoint is crap, too. When it first aired, it was the most wonderful thing on the air. And even though it's still crap, it deserves respect for getting the ball rolling.
Whether you rate "Rose" *1/2 or ****, it made enough of an impact that the series was renewed on the strength of it alone. Had it bombed out of the gate, all we'd have to talk about is the latest Big Finish audio ...
And even though Rose wasn't the best episode of Season 1, it still had arguably the best Doctor monologue -- his description of the Earth moving -- in the show's history. If you know nothing about Doctor Who and want to "get it", listen to McCoy's soliloquy at the end of Survival, and Eccleston's meditation in Rose, and that's all you need.