It really depends on the kind of experience you're going for.
If we take something like Skyrim, where a lot of the point is in micromanaging your character, building their stats, getting items, and so on so forth, then it's ok for there to be somewhat generic sidequests, because the sidequests are a vehicle that allows you to engage with the game's core mechanics.
On the other hand, in a game like Bayonetta where the focus is on big action moments, then too many sidequests would screw up the experience.
So, there is definitely a place for repetitive sidequests, but they only work if the core mechanics of the game demand it, and if the mechanics are fun enough that they can make rote sidequests enjoyable.
I guess it does depend a lot on the type of game. Skyrim was so big that a lot of the quests were designed to lead you to places you might never visit otherwise. That's in contrast to Dead Island's filler quests, which might make you clear the same street a dozen times.
I'd still take less filler quests in trade for fewer filler quests with higher quality, though.