Unfortunately, I think the Gamecube was way underrated last gen...it's a fantastic console, especially the Nintendo franchises, just lacked a few key elements to put it over the top...hence where the Wii makes up for all that, especially seeing as the Wii is just slightly more powerful than the Gamecube with the all empowering motion controls we all have grown to love so much. The Wii has definitely made a leap from the back of the pack to the first place spot for Nintendo as far as we can tell from the numbers.
As for this generation, I don't agree that the 360 is as you say...it's loved and revered by many millions of people. It's still going to be a few years before we see who's on top, and yes it is very interesting to keep up with. It reminds me of the glory years Nintendo had back in the years of the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis...but then comes the Playstation and the market hasn't been the same since...well, until now.