I like gyms that have attention to customer service. I'm a member at a number of gyms, and each has its pros and cons.
Liftetime Fitness (http://www.lifetimefitness.com) has BY FAR the best customer service I've EVER experienced. There facilities are incredible!
I was a member at 24 Hour Fitness for 7 years. 24 Hour Fitness is beyond horrible in their customer service, in my view. Even after two a days, and being their for seven years, they would hassle me for a driver's license id. (Like I hadn't been there thousands of times before?) When I complained that 24 Hour Fitness was not treating me like the long standing customer that I was. There ops manager wanted me to juice him up, too, and I said no. A week later, I was thrown out (despite being a model member for nearly 8 years) for "dropping weights."
LA Fitness is one of the gyms where I have a membership, as well. LA Fitness has outstanding customer service, good equipment, great locations, and some neat members. Only downside side with LA Fitness is their constrained hours of operation.
I'm a member at several small gyms as well. I like some of the benefits of the small gyms, but, they're often lacking some component that affects training. I've met some neat folks in small gyms, but, generally like the facilities of the larger chains.
I like to be around folks that inspire me. I'm not very chatty at the gym, except maybe at the end of my workout, or while recovering. I pay lots of attention to my time windows on training and nutrition, so I watch the clock.
When I train, I use my ipod, my stop watch, and stay focused.
If you're a gym newbie, please, don't be an idiot. Pick up your weights (these are beautiful facilities, and should be treated as such, and you should respect the members behind you). As well, use some common sense, don't walk in front of someone lifting in the mirror. Don't sit on a bench and yack. I have many things to get done during my day, of which, working out is only one. Also, do your own research. Don't ask stupid questions like how big are your arms, or how much do you bench? Does it matter? And, finally, lift with correct form. Don't throw weights around. Lighter is most times better.
And, yes, I often get many eyes on me at the gym for the same reason they gave me the trophies. That's o.k.; it fuels my workout, but there's always someone bigger, cuter, leaner, richer, etc. It's all relative. It's about an individual effort.
As always use judgment. Don't do some stupid esoteric move because Joe Slim does it. At some point, let common sense prevail.