The Netherlands is a mixed bag for me.
The good things is that the country functions extremely well - the countryside is beautiful, everything in small towns is quite quaint, old-fashioned and cute.
The people are attractive, keep themselves in good health and although their cooking is not excellent, at least most of them cook and have good parenting skills.
The relationship between the sexes is pretty good - very little sexism, the women are independant and tough.
The people are however quite annoying. They don't seem to be very calm/content. They are always bragging about something and always trying to "one-up" you.
They have absolutely no social skills/social charm. You have no idea what they truely think about you, as like one poster said, they never compliment. I always get the idea that they don't like me because they are never warm. Don't waste your breath trying to be polite to people as they don't understand it, and may look at you as if you are insane if you try to make too much small talk. As a foreigner I found it quite difficult to make friends, as they like to club together with other Dutch.
Quite a lot of Dutch tell me constantly that I am "very friendly" and "very nice" and this is the best compliments I have had so far. I realised I may be too nice and so have had to start developing my inner rude bitch!
The British humour does not go down well. They are too practical and matter-of-fact to appreciate off the cuff remarks. Everything has to be logical and make sense which can get a little... well, dull.
On the other hand, they are very smart, in fact - I would say they are the smartest nation in general that I have come across and it is nice to speak to informed people who are blunt with their opinions. Their English is amazing. You can learn a lot.
Most of them are actually pretty friendly when you get to know them after a long while and always willing to help you out. If you need advise - be prepared to be WELL advised!
They can be cool and a lot of them are hard-working and ambitious which is great.
So, a mixed bag, really. Better to be informed about them before you go there as their directness shocked me.
When a guy told a teacher that she was talking too much "off topic" and he wanted her to get back to the subject at hand, it certainly surprised me to say the least. It surprised me even more when she told him he was quite right.