I don’t think there exists "American style ice cream" any more and, as a matter of fact, the traditional American brands are increasingly being bought by multinational, often European corporate giants like Switzerland’s Nestle. There’s no comparison between the cheapest stuff you might get in a supermarket (or the huge array of nofat/lowfat/sugar free products now available) and the best quality ice creams sold here–not to mention gelato which, at least in SF, is as available as the "regular" stuff. I normally buy the second tier ice cream: Blue Bell, Dreyer’s (owned by Nestle), Blue Bunny–that sort of thing which runs about $5.99 for the "new half gallons" (which are less than a half gallon except for Blue Bell) but often obtainable on sale for $2.50-$3.00. I’d consider the top tier non-gelato brands to be the Haagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s and Starbuck’s all of which seem to run almost twice the price of Blue Bell and, IMHO, are not worth it. If I want to really indulge, I go get some gelato and it’s hard to imagine how British ice cream or any ice cream could be more "creamy" than a good gelato, here or in Italy. Partly it’s a function of the butterfat, but also it’s a function of how much air is whipped into the ice cream as it freezes–less air means denser, creamier ice cream.