We purchased a small "urban" crib to use bedside, based on all the dire warnings from the parenting classes we took about SIDS and such. In practice, it has been used no more than a dozen times or so for actual sleeping, other than a short period of time just after birth when our son needed light therapy for bilirubin.
There are several reasons for this. Our son rarely found swaddling sufficient comfort, and he would complain if mom was more than a few inches away after apparently sleeping for a few minutes. My wife found that she was more exhausted when she needed to get up out of the bed to pick up our son to breastfeed, and so she was more comfortable rolling over and nursing prone than having to make the more disruptive movements required to extract him. And really, we've just never had much luck in getting our son to sleep for more than a very short time in the crib.
My wife found in the mothers' groups that she attends, including Japanese and non-Japanese mothers, it was actually pretty rare for most first-time mothers to get much use out of the crib. Cosleepers were the closest thing to successful with mothers who had the foresight to buy them; our son sleeps in our bed most of the time, with the crib placed bedside cushioned by pillows. It serves as a barrier rather than as a crib. Our son is now 9 months old. The crib is now full of various towels and toys.
If we were in Japan, we'd almost certainly never have purchased a crib; most parents sleep with the baby just next to them on the floor on another futon. Even families that have Western bedding in Japan often abandon it in favor of the futon when they have children.
I'd say that crib use is far from universal around the world, since people sleep on the floor in many countries. Your mileage may vary. Granted, we never had much success with the bassinet either, so if that works for you, chances are the crib will be just fine.
For what it's worth, there are a few safety downsides to the crib, mostly involving falls, both inside the crib (not so serious), and falling out the crib (which is more likely when the child gets bigger), or sometimes from climbing up the sides from outside.