When it comes to Quality vs Quantity in SEO you will find supporters of both ideas, but the supporters of the Quantity model fail to consider the long term effects of their approach. The Quantity approach will not work in the long run, and its success largely depends on the competition in a given niche. If the competition raises, then you will need to go back and improve your content at some point, unless of cause, the competing sites are of similar quality as your own.
The quality of your content matters a lot more than the quantity of your pages. You might be able to create a lot of pages and receive a few visitors from exact title match searches, but this won't last for long, unless you quickly improve the pages, and are the first to write about a topic.
Online shops almost always fail when it comes to their content, they usually never put much thought into the descriptions of the products they are selling. The product pages of online shops is usually just a product title posted together with an image, making it hard to even get these pages to show up in the results.
Any SEO efforts at this point, not involving improving the content, is almost entirely wasted.
It can sometimes be hard to write decent descriptions, this is where content-generation comes in. This is not a blackhat technique, its simply a clever trick to beat your competitors in the SERPs!
Generating content is not always a bad idea. The content that you'll find in "similar" sections on many websites is generated, and it counts as unique page content, if done on the server-side. The problem is that pages may get less relevant to your targeted Keywords and Keyphrases, unless you chose the content manually, or have a decent algorithm to generate it automatically.
Maintaining small links in a "See also" or "Similar" section a long with a small description, will not only improve the ranking of smaller pages, it will also be useful to users. Sometimes also making them stay longer on a site than they otherwise would.