Did we Americans miss the boat?

I was surprised to learn lately that PEX pipe has been used in Europe for indoor plumbing since the late 1970s. And it's my understanding that Europeans never made the costly mistake of taking the PB route and went straight to PEX during the 1980s. Did Europeans know something that we didn't? Why did we Americans have to learn the hard way?
Robert
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Seems to me the copper industry has been fighting the pex changer forever... I know here in Nevada we deal with so many older homes with combinations of galvy and copper, and mobiles with plastic, that transition fittings to pex is a HUGE time saver. Our techs were initially hesitant to change, but now love to work with the stuff... Jeff

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