Want proof that the grass is always greener on the other side? I just read this article
Refilling the Physicist Pool
about the LHC theory initiative:
"We are behind the Europeans, and we believe very strongly that we shouldn't just leave this work to the Europeans," Baur said in a UB statement. [...]
Funding in the US for particle physics as a whole and theoretical particle physics in particular has declined significantly over the past 15 years, Baur said. In addition, physics departments in US universities tend to hire faculty members who develop innovative ideas, whereas in Europe, the physics culture puts equal emphasis on novel research and solid calculations that help advance the field as a whole. But with the Large Hadron Collider -- the world's largest particle accelerator -- coming online in the next year or sooner, Baur said, the US cannot afford to fall behind."
It's interesting that in the US ideas are 'innovative' whereas in Europe they are 'novel' (especially since both refers to a field that is several decades old, and hasn't seen very much novelty lately). Admittedly, I find the perspective of a 'physics culture' that produces 'solid' Next-to-next-to-next-to-next-to leading order calculations somewhat depressing.
For German counterpart, see also the Terrascale Alliance.