Well, okay - I'd never say the bit about male self-pity, but otherwise I find the idea of "high art" or "lit-fic" or "gallery art" as distinct genres in their own right to be pretty useful. My problem with a lot of, say, "lit-fic" fans is that they sometimes commit a synecdoche and treat "lit-fic" as if it were "the only real literature" or "the only literature that matters". (In the comic book world, super hero fans have been - historically - guilty of the same offense).
I think, for me, some of the problems [with the high art vs. low art distinction that] they're talking about can be resolved by thinking of high-art as simply a different kind of genre — that is, Joyce isn't necessarily any more individual or writerly than Stan Lee; he's just writing in a different tradition with different genre conventions and for a different (smaller) audience. The Lee/Joyce division is actually an interesting one, because both were very original, and so could be said to have been creating a new audience, stitched together from portions of older traditions. And my appreciation for both is probably about the same; I admire and enjoy many things about their writing, but neither are really my favorites, for reasons which have a lot to do with their investment in the tiresome tropes of male self-pity.
Update: The conversation in the comments section to Noah's post is interesting to me because the back-and-forth he has with Eric mirrors the arguments Michael Blowhard seems to have whenever he writes about "lit-fic" as "just another bozo on the genre bus". (Okay, so Michael Blowhard never actually uses that phrase, but I like it.)
I might be completely mistaken (and feel free to correct me if you think I am), but I don't think this kind of thing happens as much with film buffs. You tend not to see film buffs wading into a conversation with the assumption that of course Jean Renoir is more worthy/interesting/full-of-ideas/etc. than John Ford. You're more likely to come across guys like Michael Sicinski, who engages enthusiastically and insightfully with both art cinema and popular cinema (check out his top ten lists: look at 1980's, where Airplane tops the list but Hollis Frampton is close behind).
My guess is that lit-fic fans sense that the genre is somewhat endangered (or, at the least, that it 's prominence is on the wane), so that they're more likely to attack arguments like Noah's or Michael B.'s.