Actually it was a money machine from the beginning on. Dr No is as commercial as any later entry of the series.
For me there were always good and notsogood Bonds in every decade, and often the quality goes up and down from film to film.
Brosnans Golden Eye belongs to the best, and The World Is Not Enough is also a good one, but probably the only one which really suffers from a row of unimaginative action scenes. The only one which would be better without the bigger action scenes, while normally a good Bond has a simple story constructed around the action, which is the main content of the Bond films.
Again, Quantum of Solace is a modern masterpiece of film making. A triumph of story telling in the combination of narrative techniques and content. Also beautifully photographed and blessed with strong acting.
The next good Bonds are maybe half as good, and these are On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me and Casino Royale.
Actually even the best Connery Bonds are not that good.