Just got back from a great trip to Bruges, Amsterdam, Bacharach, Rothenburg, Venice, CT, Nice, Arles and Paris. I took trains everywhere and did not encounter any problems (except for a rail strike in Italy, but a few trains still ran). Things I have noticed:
1) Do not be paranoid about pickpockets!!! They are out there, but don't let then ruin your trip! Just be smart and don't stuff a wallet fulkl of cash in your pocket.
2) Europeans are very well dressed. I played guess the North American tourist pretty easy (runners with shorts and a logo t-shirt)
3) Some prices in the Rick Steves books have increased (museums, buses, metros etc..)
4) Don't feel obligated to go to every museum that was given a 3 triangle rating! If you aren't a museum/art gallery person dont waste your time AND money!
5) The directions for his self guided walks got me lost a few times. I ended up putting the book away and got lost on my own terms. I hated having my nose buried in a book following the walks...I prefered just wandering around aimlessly.
I am sure there are more things but I can't think of them now. If anyone has questions feel free to PM me.
And thanks to everyone on here because my trip would not have gone as smoothly as it did without this helpline!!!