I'm sorry, but I entirely believe SM3 was a f*ck-up on Sony's part and not Raimi's. I will admit Raimi isn't totally blameless, but it's unfair to say the entire mess was HIS fault alone.
For starters, Sony gave SM3 WAY too high of a budget and this would probably intimidate a director famous for making lower-budgeted fare. He worked fine with the first two films, but the third one had the largest budget for an American made film up to that point (I'm unsure if Avatar passed it or not). That's a huge difference. Second, in almost a flashback to WB's treatment of Tim Burton after Batman Returns, Sony, for some ungodly reason, had no faith in Raimi and breathed down his neck to make sure he made a film that would be as commercial as possible instead of letting him do his own shtick. In the case of Burton, he ended up leaving the director's chair entirely and stepped into a producing role for Batman Forever, something I'm not sure if Raimi was in a secure enough position to do. This was why Venom was thrown in, because he is a very marketable (*coughandheavilyoverratedcough*) character to fans of the franchise. Yes, Raimi could've handled it MUCH better, but the film was bloated enough without Venom needing to make an entrance. If anything, most of the blame should be put on Sam's brother Ivan for writing such a bloated script in the first place.
So, while Sam Raimi could've done more, he probably just didn't have the room to do so. He had a strict release date to abide by and a studio that wouldn't let him do what made the first two work so successfully. I'm glad Raimi stepped out of SM4, but I'm disgusted in the reasons leading up to his departure. Sounded like Sony was getting ready for another royal screw-job and Raimi, this time around, knew better than to be f*cked over again.
So, I have no intention of seeing a Spider-Man intended for the Twilight crowd made solely for the boosted 3D ticket prices. Something tells me that this film will be as much of a misfire as SM3 was.