I find BWI to be a great alternative to IAD. I've flown in here internationally a number of times and consider it the best starting point for US travels. The airport has gone through a number of renovations and there was still construction going on near the International terminal last time I was there in Jan 06. The airport is very well-kept and the bathrooms are immaculate. One thing that could be improved at BWI would be to extend the hours of some of the kiosks past security. I had a late night flight to Germany and nothing was open - it made for a very long night doing nothing.