Hey! from Kitakyushu, Japan
I'm Eddie and study aikido in Kitakyushu, Japan. I've just re-started aikido after a long break (literally) after a bike accident. I studied both karate-doh and aikido in Norfolk, VA in my university days and aikido and iaido here in Japan. Presently, only aikido.
I find it utterly amazing, the amount of aikido information on the internet these days. When I started aikido, there was no internet. It is somewhat intimidating, the spouting of technique, names of historical and current leaders in aikido, and Japanese words, in general, which I've never heard even after living here ten and a half years. If I ever go back to the States, people there will be more informed than me!
I consider myself lucky because the teacher, Kuroishi Sensei, was taught by the founder and turned 75 years old this month. There are no kyu rankings. Aside from a couple of white belts, everyone else is yudansha, most 4th or above and the quality of aikido IMO is quite high. There is no "taking a dive" or falling for your partner as I have seen discussed recently here. Aside from the few basic movements, everything else is kokyu and there are no names.
As regards style, I find that each partner I work with has his own style. They have favorite technique and focus on different aspects of aikido which, to me, seems a good thing. The more you know, the more you know, as I see it.
For me, the most amazing thing about aikido is the effortlessness, the ki as opposed to muscle and force. Kokyu waza interests me most, of all things aikido, and learning to channel ki/breathe is my primary goal.