I like Johnny Depp a lot and have seen several of his movies (not even including the Pirates franchise). Would I call him a great actor? No. He does a certain type of thing very well, but he's no Alec Guinness. I'm more impressed by an actor who can disappear into a role, and offhand, I can't remember Depp ever doing that.
I did a little internet research after this article, and I was saddened by what I saw. I knew that he lived in France, but I sort of figured it was just what he wanted to do, rather than a "statement" about the U.S. Drifter 33 has already summed up my feelings pretty well, so I'll leave it at that.