But now? Well, I've heard enough horror stories by now from friends and colleagues about entering the USA that, despite me having no criminal convictions whatsoever, I'm afraid it ain't on my "to-do" list any more.
I've read most of the replies, and am left wondering what these horror-stories are.
I'm Dutch, I travelled to a lot of places, and yes, the US is one of the toughest on tourists. Been there about 20 times, had my fair share of interogations & new techniques pushed upon me (including the now new all finger fingerprinting). Going into the US sucks for the visa waiver which you have to fill in online (ESTA) and then again in the airplane (euhms, systems are not aligned yet), and then undergo an interrogation by someone who's clearly not there to make friends. But hey, it's still just a few minutes on your entire trip.
UK however is also not nice (both going in (long lines) and out (more like US security, take off shoes etc) ), had quite a few random passport-checks in Argentina by police, and my passport in now in the Chinese ambassy for a visum, with a letter with it that a give them permission to do a medical examn on me + allow 7 day quarantine in case they deem this necessary (swine flu)).
In short, there's something going on everywhere. Yes, travelling through Europe and the Schengen countries is a breeze, no checks at all. But that's about it.
Tip: Next time you land in the US, UK or any other country with customs waiting to check you passport, make sure you get IN FRONT of the line. Get of the plane asap, keep walking while passing all those tourist-strollers that keep glazing around. This will save you soo much more time&stress, and prevents you from standing for half an hour in the line just behind those 2 guys in front of you, speaking almost no english at all, trying to make clear to the guard they are really just tourists...