Dont believe any of it. I cant speak for peru but I can speak for Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil and Chile. The buses are uber-nice in comparison to Greyhound. Well not all of them but most of them are. The only un-comfortable bus I found was the one to Jericocoara but that was just because it was 2 hours over sand on wooden seats.
The busses are cool. The people are way cooler than any random person I have met in the US. So keeping in mind that I have only been to Central and South America I would say that if I had to choose where to live. It would definitly be south america.
Go with NO fear. Be ready for unexpected. Keep your eyes and heart open. Never stop loving life.
Basic beliefs of the peeps down there.