Overall, The God Delusion is well written. Richard Dawkins isn't a famous popularizer of science for nothing. However, for me, it wasn't very informative. Dawkins doesn't really say anything I didn't already know. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a broad overview of the issues that concern the atheist movement (keeping in mind that not everyone agrees with Dawkins).
The Courtier's Reply
One of the major reactions to The God Delusion, echoed in countless reviews, was, "Dawkins focuses too much on fundamentalist views of God, and ignores sophisticated theology." PZ Myers famously called this reaction "The Courtier's Reply". Here's the money quote:
Dawkins arrogantly ignores all these deep philosophical ponderings to crudely accuse the Emperor of nudity.The Courtier's Reply is disdained by mainstream atheists, though reasons vary wildly. If you've never noticed, PZ doesn't actually refute the Courtier's Reply in his famous post--he just makes an analogy to ridicule it.
But it is deserving of ridicule, because there is something very wrong about it.* Dawkins does not ever mention [insert sophisticated theologian here] because it would not fit in with the rest of the book. You cannot put "The Argument from Beauty" and Godel's modal ontological argument next to each other. That's right, Dawkins has a section on "The Argument from Beauty" ("Without God, how do you account for Shakespeare?"), which I feel is a self-refuting argument. Dawkins' audience isn't a bunch of philosophers--it's a popular audience.
Dawkins' purpose, after all, isn't to make the end-all refutation of God. His purpose is to effect real change, among real people. As such, much of his writing focuses on things that are down to earth. Even his discussion of the ontological argument was filled with anecdotes, at the expense of including any actual refutations (despite how easy it is to refute). If Dawkins ignores sophisticated theology, it's because such theology is not really all that important to the common person. Furthermore, what need is there to attack the best of religion? Isn't it the worst of religion that needs to be changed the most?
In any case, Dawkins does not focus on fundamentalist religion. If you were looking for a critique of biblical literalism, only the bare bones are there. Good thing too, because I find Bible talk to be boring. His primary focus seems to be on ordinary positions in the middle. Apathetics. Agnostics. Liberal and moderate believers. People who don't believe themselves, but think belief is good for others. (It's been a while since I've used a comic strip to illustrate a point, but here goes!)
Whether Dawkins' arguments against all these different positions are valid is another matter. For the most part, he manages to cover all the basic points.
And yes, Dawkins mentions sophisticated theology too, only to say that it's obscurantist. Dawkins' opinion seems to be that it's all just meant to look real advanced and sophisticated when there's not really anything there. Ironically, this is also a good description of the Courtier's Reply itself. Usually, the person who gives the Courtier's Reply will simply drop a name ("[such-and-such] is way more sophisticated than Dawkins") without including anything of substance. That's all you can expect from a short review in the popular press.
Similarly, that's all you can expect from Dawkins in his short, popular book, especially since its range is so broad.
See part two, in which I am more critical of Dawkins.
*Note that most of my argument against the Courtier's Reply is based on the premise that we're talking about Dawkins' book. Some misguided atheists like to declare "Courtier's Reply!" in a variety of situations as if that were a complete and self-evident refutation of all of theology. Not all of theology is always irrelevant!