I've just returned from my trip to the birth country of OSM, the UK.
Lets first remark that my OSM powered eTrex guided me and my rental car along the way for the whole trip. I found every POI (pre-extracted from google) I wanted to go in decent time.
But I was not as impressed by the quality of the map as I anticipated to be.
Unlike my last trip to Denmark, where most minor roads were just missing in the area I visited, it wasn't missing roads in the UK.
While the roads were there, there lacked a lot of information vital to car routing (turn restrictions, oneway streets, beeing a dual carriageway or not) and POIs (Petrol Stations, Supermakets, ATM machines).
I won't hold this against osm. It's clear that osm always has insufficiencies and needs time to get better (and it certainly will).
I just start wondering why it is so much better in other areas? I had no problems in New Zealand, as well as in Scotland and here at home in Germany?
It can't be imports of official data: while NZ and SCO has them, GER has not and ENG has them too. It can't be because of the rural areas I normally travel to. SCO and NZ are just as rural as ENG (I went to Cornwall) and even the area around my hometown in GER is. So it must be mappers. But I suppouse there are more mappers in the UK than here in GER. And they started earlier. And what I get through the website is they are even better organised (a lot more mapping parties). Even the yahoo images are far better in the UK than in GER, where they can be only used as indicators for landuse or waterways. It leaves me puzzled.
My only explanation so far is, that it's a thing of perception. Probably you just don't notice errors in your home area that much because you can easily fix them and tend to travel on the same routes over and over again. On vacation on the other hand you get far too less 'sample data' to make up a fair opinion on the quality. Even if you travel some thousand(s of) miles. And errors feel worse 'cause you suffer from them more in a non-familiar environment.
Conclusion: Travel more, fix errors there, go unfamiliar ways around your hometown.