I was at the liquor store recently and saw a bottle of Swiss Absinthe at the checkout counter. I asked them if it was the real thing and they said it was. Apparently, as long as the Thujone content is lower than what is allowed by the FDA, it's OK to distill and sell in the US. I ended up buying the bottle and checking it out. Interesting stuff...taste-wise, high anise content so it tastes like black licorice. Very high alcohol content so I can imagine that's where some of the negative perceptions come from. I wouldn't try to slog through a bottle in a night!
I did have some of the "real stuff" in England a few years ago. I don't remember any strange effects other than what one normally has when they drink too much. I really like the whole "ritual" of making the "louche" and whatnot.
So, any imbibers of "the Green Fairy?"