I always like a little dustup.
Gary I'm willing to bet that the "German" layouts you're seeing are merely Brits trying to be a little "exotic"
just as the "continental" layouts in CM do not look recognizable to me. German layouts tend to be continuous running with multiple trains in operation at the same time along multiple elevations, not your typical Brit layout. While that may look toy like to some this is counterbalanced by the high detail of their models and the larger trains that they run. As far as their scenery yes it is a little Hansel & Gretel but having lived in Germany and owning a timeshare in Austria it is that way!
Now if you want protypical operations and looks then both German and British layouts trail way behind US layouts. But to me each has it's own merit.
The term being in the dark ages is absolutely offensive as well as incorrect. As far as this forum goes it's called Model Rail Forum not British Model Rail Forum or Narrow Minded Rail Forum. The reason this site will continue to be heavely British focused is because who would want to have to defend their modeling practices day in and day out? Thank God I have the ability to travel and see the World as it is rather than as I may wish it to be.
We have the ability to cross borders with the Internet but you seem to have taken it upon your shoulders to make any non-Brit feel unwelcome. Luckily because I am a transplanted Dutchman who grew up in the United States and have the typical American tin ear I am not so easily discouraged.
So if you want me to educate you on the rest of the World beyond your polluted shores
I would be glad to. But if you would rather stir up petty arguments please take them elsewhere.