I'll venture that the reason you have gotten so much negative feedback on the rock pile is that it doesn't look organic. Only humans stack rocks in that fashion and it's not an arrangement to be found in nature. The driftwood and plantings look great, but when I see the rocks, I'm reminded that I'm looking at an aquarium. In addition the rock pile occupies what I consider to be valuable negative space in the layout.
If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings." óDave Barry