What a great thread! I don't disagree with anyone, but would add these notes based on current or past ownership, YMMV:
GSD: Love ours, think they are GREAT dogs, but you must be very careful and get them from an outstanding breeder with a solid track record. They SHED! We call our the German SHEDDER Dog. Poorly bred GSD can be crazy/neurotic/etc.
Huskies: Perpetual 3 year olds that never loose their playfulness. They NEED to pull a sled 20 miles everyday and can be destructive if bored. Training difficult, and I could never count on it. They are like 8 year old boys, perpetually.
Dobermans: Great solid dogs only behind GSD's BUT their short coats may make them inappropriate for WI winters. Ours loved snow but the poor girl got cold fast. Her shivers made me wince. She even had shearling coats. Sheds short black hair.
Border collie: Very smart, like GSD's and Dobies, super high energy, need 10 acres to run
Standard Poodle: Fantastic dogs. Tops on the smart scale, very trainable, natural retrievers, sociable. Drawback is grooming and their coats pick up burrs. Easy to train, great companion dogs. Tops on my scale. NO SHEDDING!
Goldens: Love them but they shed, very mellow
Labs: Shed and slobber
There is a great "Dog Characteristics" book that is dead on correct, written by world famous trainers. I'll track it down and post the name here in a minute.
Good Dog, Bad Dog, New and Revised: Dog Training Made Easy - Mordecai Siegal, Matthew Margolis - Google Books
Good Dog, Bad Dog by Mordecai Siegal, Matthew Margolis: The descriptions of breeds are perfect and have positive and negative characteristics, training strengths and weaknesses, where they might or might not be appropriate, etc. This book is worth it's weight in gold!
Edited to Add:
Giant Schnauzer: As smart as any Standard Poodle, very protective and very intimidating while being calm and companionable. Fantastic breed! Quiet until aroused then a bark like a male lion. DO NOT SHED.
Miniature Schnauzers: Ratters, yippy, stubborn
Mutts: You never know what will develop. My son got the stupidest dog I've ever known.