I agree 100% with that. But I am sure you are wrong in assuming people think that winning automatically makes something the best.
In theory they are the best. Biggest awards = biggest winners = big cash. Talking about last year for example, just think about the amount of people that watched Slumdog and the amount that watched Frost/Nixon (another Best Picture nominated movie) after the Oscars. Let's say the Watergate movie would have received the award. Things would have looked completely different in every area. So, the Oscars for sure play a crucial role in attracting viewers. Liking a film is sth. different of course. Speaking for myself, two of my 3 favourite movies from 2008 had not one single nomination last year. Oh..and Sean Penn kicks ass