The rail (and bus) system in the Portland area works well in a lot of areas (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham) and not so great in others.
When I lived in Beaverton it took me less time to take the MAX (light rail) into downtown than it did to drive and find parking (about 20 min. vs 30). Now that I've moved to Tualatin I've basically given up on rail since, as the parent said, it takes 60-90 minutes by rail (and 30-40 by the irregularly scheduled bus) and about 15 minutes driving.
That said, for the more densely populated areas of the metro area (ESPECIALLY downtown) I think the light rail does a great job, and I'm hoping the proposed new light rail line along I-5/99W through Tigard will make it even better.