I do not think the goblins were a "Joke", and New Zealand is probably the most "magical" places to set LOTR in, it is rich with Lavish green hills, yet also has thunderous mountains and such. It is a wonder how most of the scenes they cast were not Graphically enhanced. . . New Zealand truly is a wondrous place, it is one of the last places left that has not been severely touched by industrialism.
Back onto Goblins and orcs. . . how intimidating can such things be without them looking totally ridiculous? Goblins and Orcs aren't suppose to be the most scary things in all of Middle Earth, and I think Jackson even pulled it off better then most could have. They were rugged, dirty, yet still flesh-hungry, growling, snarling beasts, yet they were not as intimidating as Balrog, but I would not want to have a cup o' tea with one of them either.
I respect your opinion in full, but I just think Peter Jackson directed the movie tremendously well.