Why do people like streetcars? Tyler Cowen comes up with two reasons: that street car lovers wish to "affiliate themselves with the past" and that streetcars help you avoid that "low class feeling" which all too often comes from riding on the bus.
I don't disagree with either of these but there are also substantive reasons to prefer streetcars, i.e. they are smoother and quieter than other forms of public transportation. The streetcar we rode in New Orleans (above) definitely fell into the "affiliate ourselves with the past" category, but there are plenty of modern-looking streetcars (in Amsterdam for example, probably in American cities too) that also provide a cheap, quick, quiet, pleasant way to travel. The history thing is nice, to be sure, but absent that tie the ride is still very nice.
I also like to ride buses and subways, though, so I may not be a good case study. Also because I live in a strongly car-centric city with no short- or medium-term plans to build any alternative modes of transportation.