they gave us a strange, dark, gritty guy who knocked up Lois, flew away to space and generally behaved like a dead-beat dad.
It's not at all fair to call him a deadbeat dad because the whole time he was in space he had no idea he had a kid. Then when he finds out he has a kid and starts showing an interest in the kid he's labeled a stalker. This guy can't win.
Batman Begins gave us something different from the Burton/Schumacher films. Superman Returns gave us the same thing we saw 30 years ago with the Donner films.
Though the Donner films were generally regarded as good. So giving us the same thing as Donner is not necessarily a bad thing, while Nolan giving us something different from Schumacher was unquestionably a good thing.