I built a house about five years ago and we had carpet throughout most of the house. We pulled up the carpet and put the laminate flooring in the main entry, large hallway, office and living room. These are the main areas of the house with the exception of the dining room and the kitchen. I have to say, I like it in the hallway and office, but if I had to do it over again, I would have kept carpet in the living room. It takes away that "home" feeling if you know what I mean. Just my opinion.
I have a lighter color laminate in my basement. I did it mainly cause it easier to keep clean with the dogs staying down there. I havent noticed any scratches and the dogs tear ass through there to go outside. I like it in certain rooms but i agree with you guys..i wouldnt put it in a main room fo my house. It is so much easier to clean though. Mine needs repair (its 8 months old) since the washer took a dump and flooded half the room and it kicked up a bunch of seems in the floor and looks uneven now. I got my floor people coming back out with a box of replacement pieces to get it back to looking good.