One of the criticisms against Phillip Pullman (and his books) is that he disliked the Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis. Interestingly, there's someone else who didn't like the Narnia series, albeit probably for different reasons than Pullman. That someone was J.R.R. Tolkien.
Tolkien and Lewis were close friends, and Tolkien was pivotal in Lewis' conversion. But he really disliked the Narnia stories (really, really disliked them), because he felt they were too explicitly allegorical.
So, if we're going to criticise Pullman for his literary taste, then let's acknowledge that on this particular issue at least, he's in good company.
My point - don't be mislead by irrelevant criticisms.