I didn't move to the states until I was 18.
Really...come on. There are plenty of crap coffeehouses in Europe. Sure, there are lots of good ones too, but the appeal in the American system is consistency. Folgers and Maxwell House (and any other kind of "tinned" coffee) are made of inferior beans and taste extremely watered down and acidic to me. I've come to the conclusion that Americans just like it that way and that's why they think Starbucks roasts taste "burned". They're not. It's like when I've seen people complain about the teas being in tins...are you joking? It's full leaf, not the dust in the little baggies you sweep off the factory floor. On that note, I really miss the tea stores. They smell like heaven. Aaaanyway.
I will agree that the syrup and frappuccino thing is fairly ridiculous. As for interiors it really depends on the Starbucks location and when it was built. There was a period where they went pretty cookie-cutter, but it's getting better now and I find that most of the freestanding ones I've been in lately have been nice, even by European standards. Sorry, but you're not ever going to achieve a fully European look when an American city isn't comprised mainly of Victorian townhouses, the ground floors of which have been repurposed about 30 times. The coffeehouse atmosphere is recreated as much as can be reasonably expected given the fact that it IS in fact, in the US.
I don't mind knocking Starbucks when it does dumb things, but I'll give credit where credit is due.