The leg press is great for hypertrophy and strength increases while not necesarily correlating in squat increases.
The leg press can definately promote massive growth in the quads and hams depending on the foot placement, they are also good for those with back injuries in order to heavly train the quads with out taxing the spine to much.
As for knees hitting the rib cage etc. not all leg presses have fixed seat backs and the angle of the seat can be changed.
As for not increasing strength that depends on what is being refferanced here will a big leg press translate into a big squat probaly not at least not directly but seeing people including myself who have leg pressed over a thousand pounds yeah strength does and will and can increase.
I have to second the person who commented on most peoples range of motion I have witnessed this ad nauseam you think watching the after school bench press crew doing there quarter squats are bad how about close to a quarter leg presses with enough weight plates to cause Ronnie to cringe.
Even people who don't pile on the weight still seem to be afraid of the necesarry depth of the movement.