About the Visuddhimagga, what I find (and I think many people find), is that it's highly precise/practical.
I agree with objections about kasiṇa, nimitta and so on, however, these comprise less than 1% of the Visuddhimagga—and also, kasiṇa is one meditation subject among many, and nimitta isn't an essential concept at all (you can easily ignore it altogether). These aren't good reasons to try to devalue the Visuddhimagga as a whole.
[Still, MN 128 (starting at 15, until the end of the sutta) extensively deals with the Buddha describing his personal experience with nimitta, and MN 24 is the full structure of the Visuddhimagga, along with MN 111 and MN 43 having the same structure of jhāna as in the Visuddhimagga—all these, among other suttas.]
With access-/neighbourhood-concentration (upacāra-samādhi), this is simply a state of intense concentration, with the absence of the five hindrances (nīvaraṇa), of which there is still perception of your surroundings—right before entering jhāna. Whether the Buddha considered it important or not to bring attention to and teach this, it is still the case that there is a different and more concentrated state of mind before entering jhāna, whether you give it a name or not.
As for the commentaries (although I don't think it's a good idea to study these in and of themselves), they are still important. The very translations themselves that "Sutta-only" proponents read and study are in part based on the commentaries—many concepts and Pāḷi terms, grammar structures, and so on. I find it makes no sense to dislike the commentaries, all the while viewing in high regards translations partly based on them. Also, yes, many times you can come across commentarial passages that extrapolate, and even speculate, but it's important to remember that the commentaries/post-commentaries are compilations
of post-canonical writings of multiple
commentators. Still, as with the Visuddhimagga, these aren't good reasons to try to devalue the commentaries as a whole
I think there are three main reasons why there are anti-Visuddhimagga and anti-commentary (along with anti-Abhidhamma) proponents:
- Some don't understand the context and use of these works (i.e., should be studied after and alongside the Suttas).
- Some think that the authority of the Suttas is somehow "threatened."
- They might feel intimidated by the amount of study material—the Suttas already being substantial—and therefore prefer to say something along the lines of "the Visuddhimagga, Abhidhamma and commentaries should be ignored altogether" instead of "I prefer to focus my studies and base my practice on the Suttas" (although many do say this).
Basically, I think it's more a sign of immaturity/lack of self-esteem, more than anything (and like already said, such topics are mostly discussed online). The Suttas are the most authoritative and the most important—and even those who study the Visuddhimagga and Abhidhamma are of this opinion. I think there is no point in attempting to disparage other works and others' personal choice of study material (let alone "cry schism" because someone studies other works).