I'd add, furthering the subject of "college lit majors who are too cool to read sci-fi," that I recall it was "cool" for lit majors to read stuff like Philip K. Dick, Stanislav Lem, J.G. Ballard, and Anthony Burgess, while turning up our noses at Heinlein, Asimov and the like.
SF has gotten more acceptable for lit majors in some colleges, where it's taught alongside the "real" literature. Interestingly enough, the older masters like Asimov still get passed over for more "respectable" names like PK Dick and Lem. It's preposterous of course, but I guess it fits the typical college curriculum. I enjoy Ballard and Lem and Delany and all the rest, but I'd never have become interested in SF if it were not for Asimov and Blish and many of the other old timers. I find that most of those books are still compulsively readable ... not something I can say about many of the more experimental works by "acceptably hip" SF writers.ß
I should make sure it's clear that I'm sort of making fun of my college-age pretensions, not saying that only those "literary sci-fi" authors are worth reading.
Like you say, I'd be more likely to read Gregory Benford or Greg Bear than Phil Dick or Stanislav Lem these days. I don't know if those first two are taken seriously at all in sci-fi circles... for all I know, they're the Danielle Steele and the Jackie Collins of the sci-fi world... but I find their work compelling in a "page-turner" way.