Yes. Polanski's film is better crafted. It would win in a cage match with Dragon Tattoo.
Still, Dragon Tattoo is consistently engaging for nearly three hours. And this is because it is generally well made. I think that you're definitely bringing baggage from having recently read the book. Dragon Tattoo is certainly open to charges of perversity and sordidness. The structure, script, direction, cinematography, and performances, however, are all solid enough. In fact, they're good enough to make the film worth defending even when I don't like the film. I think you're overreacting in not even granting it competence.
Of course, there are better episodes of Murder, She Wrote than this film. You're fooling yourself if you don't think that there are episodes of Murder, She Wrote that not only look better, but are also much more compelling and enjoyable than Ghost Writer.
I've wanted to see Sweetgrass for almost a year. Cinema Scope ran a couple of good articles on it last year that made me both aware of the film and excited to see it. I'm glad you liked it. I'll try to see it soon.