Honestly, the best way to figure this out is to read through a lot of the optimized builds. Generally, the things you see there will be the 'strong' feats.
If you want to get a general idea without hours of reading, you can look at things like-
- What options does this add that don't require me to do anything? Am I likely to use these?
- Can this be replaced by a class (either base or prestige) feature, or a skill check?
- Does this fill a gap in my build?
- If this feat requires an action, how often would I use this? How is using this better than the alternative?
Of course, those questions are moot if the feat is required for a prestige class you want to take. A couple things about the specific feats you mentioned (from what I remember, I haven't looked at 3.5 in like 2 years)-
Your weak feats here tend to buff things that aren't used a lot, that there are better options for or that don't really help much (I think dodge gives +1 AC vs 1 opponent. After level 2 that's not a huge amount). A lot of the low level feats fall into this category and are taken mostly to get to better feats or as a prereq for a prestige class. The exception to this is the feats exclusive to level 1 that are 'background' type feats. Those are usually awesome and can be a cornerstone to tricking your way into a prestige class.
Your 'good for the right character' or 'situational' feats are pretty strong, but only if they're the focus of the character. Improved trip lets you trip things more easily and gives you a free attack when you succeed, if you have a build centered around tripping things, that makes this awesome. If you're a wizard, this is probably terrible (I don't know of a trip wizard build but the internet is weird). Weapon Finesse lets you swap out your STR modifier for your DEX modifier on some things, if you're a high DEX low STR character that's beneficial.
The 'strong' feats are basically awesome no matter what. You'll see one or more of these in almost every optimized build. Leadership gives you an extra character as long as your CHA isn't terrible. Natural Spell lets a druid cast spells while shapeshifted. As a caster class not being able to cast generally sucks. Quicken spell lets you cast more spells in a round. More stuff in less time is always good. Divine Metamagic lets you trade turning attempts (read: things you almost never use) to power Metamagic feats (read: things you always want to use).
I guess, getting here, I'm now thinking the core of what makes something awesome is doing more stuff in less time. That's actually a pretty good mantra for designing an optimized build. Some of the 'weak' feats listed (spring attack, whirlwind) look like they fit this, but have minuses, for those primarily that as a melee fighter you generally want to take a full attack action on a single target and neither of those lets you.