A couple of years ago, my work led me to a six month stint in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I took some vacation time and went to Split (Croatia) and later went to Budapest. Granted, I was only in Budapest for about 4 days, but they were spectacular!
I found it to be a beautiful city, full of warm and welcoming people. They were always happy to speak to me in either English or French, and seemed to relish the thought of having international visitors. Budapest struck me as a European city just waiting to be discovered by international travellers; it is dynamic, inviting, embraces its past and future and has a lot to see. What I found most interesting is that Budapest had not tried to bury its past, but rather to acknowledge it. The public transit system was second to none. To top it all off, I found it very inexpensive.
Just my $0.02