Although I agree the album 100% is nowhere near as timeless as most of the Zeppelin catalouge. I think it's a bit unfair to describe the album as 'commercial' or 'cheesy'. I wasn't even born at the time that the album was released, but I'm pretty sure it would be very hard to try and find any out of this world rock music that was being released during that time. 93' was the height of 'Grunge' in the US. And in the UK it was all about the indie/britpop scene. And as far as the production, I think that if the album was produced in a way which Zeppelin albums where then Jimmy would have been slaughtered for it even more, and the whole 'Coverversion' thing would have had a lot more points to be backed up by.
I wouldn't say it's better than any Zeppelin album, although I see it coming quite close to ITTOD as in my opinion, that album is probably the Zepp album which hasn't stood the test as time as well as the others (for obvious reasons), although it does have some unbelievable tracks; Evening, Crawl, AOML & Carauselambra, I think some of the tracks aren't pretty throwaway, for instance FITR. Same could be said for a few tracks on C/P