Interesting thread. I'm not of the overall opinion that England is a better place to live, but I resent it when people point out things that are actually worse in America. The advantage of America, for those who are that way inclined, is that you can bury your head in the sand very nicely because the amount of space allows you to segregate poor areas and buy your way out of there. I prefer England for that because it gives you a more rounded perspective on the world. Take the anecdotes about violent crime for instance. As all the statistics show, America is a much worse place for that. But if you've got money you can buy your way into a fake reality and ignore the poor.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, but I don't like these overly simplistic 'which is better' points. I also don't feel comfortable with simply going for the short term attraction of big cars, big space, big consumerism - and it doesn't sit comfortably with me that this is all for the fortunate only. Despite all those advantages, the average person still manages to suffer from those poor average statistics I described earlier.
I also think that a lot of people don't compare apples with apples. Living in the UK often means living near a city. But a lot of the comparisons are then made with small town America. I go to English city centres and they are vibrant places with people around, restaurants, bars, movies and entertainment, and a general buzz of life. I go to American city centres and I see ghost towns that even have no-go areas outside the working week, with many run down areas.
I grew up in Manchester so I know all about the 6 miles from Manchester reality. And it's not pretty. But it doesn't take much to buy your way out of that either to the delights of somewhere like Cheshire.
The major advantage of America it seems to most, is that it is cheaper. What I don't like is why it is cheaper.