I think it is fair to say that the Comet came very early on in the development of new technologies at the time, and as such it was rapidly outdated by the 707's, DC-8's, VC-10's and others, but that doesn't change the fact that it was on the very leading edge of a wave of development of jet aircraft.
I also give the Comet a lot of respect for the simple fact that after the cause of the accidents were found, the information was shared with the entire world to prevent another such tragedy, even though it helped other manufacturers outdo deHavilland. In fact, modern ideas of fatigue testing, design of pressurized fuselages, and even crash analysis were largely thanks to the Comet. It was a tragic cause to have to develop these sciences, but simply for these reasons the flawed Comet I tragedies did not happen in vain, and its legacy lives on in the form of safer jetliners from all manufacturers.
I do, however, believe that perhaps saying "the Comet was too far advanced for its time" is a bit of a euphemism for the mistakes DH made. There was some knowledge of fatigue, although not a lot. Reading the accident report it clearly states that although DH made the mistakes through a lack of knowledge at the time, it also notes that they should have made more use of the tools at their disposal such as strain guages, and that static and fatigue test airframes would have to be separate in order to prevent a static test from causing strain hardening.