So I saw the text box that said, "Is your comment turning into an essay? Post a blog!" or something along those lines and this seems like a good place to start as I'd rather not let it get lost in the shuffle.
The point where I disagree is that it holds up today. It was a landmark for its time and certainly its ambitions are still something I can appreciate, but a mix of a bad translation, poor graphics (in that they're aesthetically unappealing), and ham-handed narrative make it really hard to sit through these days. It doesn't have the timeless qualities of VI (or any other major RPG from the late SNES era) and it isn't executed as well as IX (or many of Square's side projects during the PS1 era).
If I were 13 again and I had a taste for classic gaming, there's no doubt it'd blow my mind like it did back then. It was my first exposure to the FF series after Super Mario RPG got me interested in the genre, and to say I was unmoved would be an outright lie. To say there's no merit in the game, whether I'm talking about the time it was released or today, would be the same as saying my experiences had no merit and that's not something I'm willing to do. Even today, with as cynical as I am compared to my younger self, there's still a certain charm to be found in it even if it's not something I could play through again. (Which honestly has more to do with having played it more than ten times the first year I owned it; I had two memory cards devoted just to FFVII saves.)
Has it earned its place in history? Absolutely. Is it a good game? Sure. Has it stood the test of time? It's had a rough go of it. Is it likely to be remembered regardless of its quality compared to its contemporaries? Yes, because whether I like it or not it was the ambassador for the jRPG renaissance of the PS1 era, and even if I think other games deserve to be held in higher regard the fact is I'd have never played a lot of them if it wasn't for FFVII.
So while my feelings are a bit mixed, Jim, I have to concede your point. FFVII is, at the very least, well-made and while we're all entitled to our own opinion it's downright stupid to try and pass it off as an undeserving fluke.