An interesting article I read today says that fiction is often better when there are no dads in the picture. It's an interesting idea and certainly one that holds true - Harry Potter, Maximum Ride, Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Jane Eyre, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, and dozens of folklore and fairy tales (Aladdin, Dick Whittington, etc) prove the theory.
Of course there are other stories where the father figure is prominent - Twilight being a good example. It has three good father figures in Charlie, Carlisle and Billy Black, and these all add to the story and make it no less intriguing for their presence. (The story wouldn't work without Carlisle, and why would Bella be in Forks if there was no Charlie?) But this does seem to be the exception rather than the rule.