Bullshit. The prequels aren't just criticized because it's the popular thing to do, they're also criticized for being subpar. I don't think they're the worst things to ever come out of cinema, but they are certainly not that good. Plenty of bad films made it big at the box office despite not being good, such as TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.
But, on the other hand, that opinion is mostly from folks who grew up on The Original Trilogy (Or are heavily involved in Star Wars Fandom, rather than casual Star Wars Fans). There's a whole bunch of younger folks who grew up on The Prequel Trilogy and/or don't have the Nostalgia of growing up on The Original Trilogy when it was brand new, that love the Prequel films. Then of course, now we have kids growing up on the Clone Wars cartoons that love The Prequel Trilogy as well.
I grew up on The Original Trilogy, and Jar Jar annoys me, and, The Pod Race seems to go on for hours, but, other than those things and the awkwardly directed Romance, I mostly get enjoyment out of The Prequels.