The fast development cycles of the 90's had also left computer users with somewhat of an entitled attitude in the early 2000's. We expected each successive hardware generation to make massive strides over the last, to exponentially eclipse it. We'd had the 3dfx shock, we'd had the Geforce & TNT explosions, the successive Pentiums, the Athlons, each making massive strides. "The worst of the new generation should about equal the best of the last generation", was a common unspoken sentiment or expectation.
So the Geforce 3 and 4 lineups caused some minor angst for many at the time, the former because it was a fairly soft release and had a limited market reach, and the latter because (with the MX lineup) it dared to market as mainstream, a level of performance that, for some, had already existed for years. And yet, decent mainstream cards is exactly what they were, and (in context) remain.
And crucially, a lot were sold, which makes them more readily available than many other options from that approximate Geforce 2-3-4 era.