It is not difficult to appreciate comedy. If it makes you laugh it is obviously good. The belief that there are broad differences in comedy on each side of the Atlantic is ill-founded. There are subtle differences in taste and specific references to not very well-known people, news or events will obviously not be understood. I watched both the British and American versions and these are my observations: 1) As always the Americans are very slick at script editing, something the British TV and film industry has yet to master. 2)Steve Carell vs Ricky Gervais. In terms of comic ability, this is simply a matter of taste but Carell is a better actor. 3) The characters in the American version are more varied, well defined and overall adds to the comedy. Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is the perfect foil for Michael, the pair being almost on par as Baldrick and Blackadder. The other charcters, Stanley, Kelly, Ryan and Creed each has distinct and colourful idiosyncracies typical of American sitcoms but the program does not simply repeat gags associated with each characters ad nauseum but does attempt to carefully craft character development. 4) There is a realism about the British series and viewers easily identify and empathise with various office 'situations'. I'm not sure whether this is true of the American series but I have been told it is. 5) Finally the general working environment gloom of the British series is absent in the American series which therefore has a better feelgood factor. Whether this is desirable or not depends on the viewer.
Overall my preference goes to the American version