I personally find (and I've echoed this over many times before) that few things or games from major publishers interest me any more. And this is unfair, because there are certainly great games coming from the publishers (or there is at least an appreciable selection). But I don't think any of those publishers offer anything, or anything without baggage (such as DRM), that I'm willing to spend money on.
Paradox is a good house, and the last game I bought was Mount and Blade. That game itself was produced by a small team, and while not the prettiest game, delivered more entertainment value than I think I could have possibly derived from something from a major publisher with a substantial team. I think the reason for that is genuine care for the product being made, and then delivered. The quality of the game is in the spirit of the game. I got a lot of that spirit for only 30 USD, which I'd say is money well spent.
Great games, furthermore, do not necessarily need to be pretty. They do need to hold themselves together with a coherent art style, but at the end of the day, the inside of the game is what counts. Board games, to make a very interesting example, rely on this entirely, making you use your mind to fill in the gaps which the simple mechanics of the game itself cannot provide. There's interpersonal mechanics, which are a step above what any game can present, of course, but you would not play the game itself if the core mechanics did not suit your needs. That said, some of my favorite isometric RPGs will not stun you with their visuals, but they have a set of core mechanics - story, gameplay, and value, that all the flash in the world will not do any more or less justice to. There's simply no substitute for that kind of quality, and I've seldom seen any major game publisher put out those kind of games lately - fortunately, there's plenty of indie devs out there that do.