Some people think that the bass is easy to play or useless or rah rah. To some degree, this is true. Most pop songs' basslines have a one-note range, and in a lot of extremely hard rock the bass is completely drowned out (between multiple distortion guitars and a guy screaming his lungs out). Being a bassist is a "skill-optional" thing; if you just want to be in a band and be a wallflower you more than likely can find one.
However, a GOOD bassline will make the music far far better. There are many skilled virtuostic players (billy sheehan, jaco, vic wooten, etc). Many Japanese VK bands have a very powerful bassline; Tetsu, Toshiya, J, are all good ones. And who can forget Flea. A good bassline drives a song and makes you shake your booty. And slap bass is teh pwn j00 nooby guitar.
Bass doesn't suck. But a lot of bassists do, and can get away with it because their band can't find any others and just drown them out.