Buffet's have become a popular part of the American Cuisine - but what do you really know about them?

A recent article I encountered presents a pretty good primer - from the origins of buffets to the reasons behind them.  Perhaps it's no surprise that the buffet line was first introduced to this country in Las Vegas.

Personally, most of the buffets I've eaten at leave me less than impressed.  Usually, the problem for isn't the quality or the varieties of food that's offered, but rather the whole mechanics surrounding that style of eating.  It always seems like everyone eats "in shifts" and no one gets to talk or visit.  What do YOU think of buffets?