Looks like someone decided we were overdue for the annual certifications debate. This question will still be popping up ten years from now and they will not be going away any time soon, simply because there is no cut and dry yes or no answer. It all depends on the person, the cert, the situation, and your perspective.
Personally? I still have them and I'm currently studying for others. I'm not even job searching right now; I'm perfectly happy where I'm at. Certifications simply give me a template of what I need to study for the skills I want to learn, and give me goals/benchmarks to aim for. They're like achievements in a game, only more tangible. The vanity of having another cert to post on my Linkedin profile adds more incentive to push myself further. I'm not worried about the material becoming outdated because most of them expire; and if I haven't pushed myself to the next level up by the time they do, it means I'm dragging my ass. I plan on getting CCNP before my CCNA expires, for instance.
The "certs just prove you can pass tests" argument doesn't really apply in my case, because I suck at tests. I suck at academics in general. I barely made it through high school because I am all but incapable of learning things 'theoretically'. So why bother with the certs, you ask? Because I cannot pass an exam unless I actually know the material. Plenty of guys with less than half of my experience could probably finish the exams I am working on in a fraction of the time, but it wouldn't mean as much in their case.
Lastly, certifications do help open doors, especially for those who get stuck in the catch-22 hell that is trying to get experience when everyone expects you to pop out of a cabbage patch with at least 5 years of it under your belt. I'm sure certifications are very easy to disparage from the perspective of someone who is FAR removed from such a scenario with decades of experience and countless connections. I suppose the better discussion would be: How valuable are certifications compared to degrees?