Personally I do know Bridgstone pretty well, as the brand lays in my field of interest. I know that especially the later models were more tailered to how Mr Peterson decided a bike should look like, than to the needs of the market. An approach I absolutely like, but in a world were making profits, ROI etc counts, it is not working. Together with the expensive Yen it must have been the reason why Bridgestone left the US mid nineties.
Their brochures are a joy for the eye and offer an interesting piece of information => http://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/1991/index.htm
I regularly vist the Sheldon Brown site. Indeed a great source for information.
"Interesting what brands/styles catch on in different parts of the world due to availability. "
Yes, for example the Konas in UK.
Overhere in NL, I can't really think of a particular bike with huge following. Marins were popular at some point back than, but probably no one is wanting them now. Maybe the elevated Koga RidgeRunner will make many somewhat older cyclists smile. Klein is a brand also well known under younger cyclists (from Trek). Many don't really know what it is or what it once stood for, but they know it is expensive. I haven't dicovered a serious amount of enthousiasts so far though.
Maybe this desinterest has something to do with that cycling is not really left wing or that is not really a life style thing in the Netherlands. It is mean to go from A to B. Probably Dutch are less critical when it comes on irrational factors ...and when a bicycle becomes old they simply move on.