First, my complaints. Born in the USA took Bruce out of Jersey and made him an international phenomenon, which isn't bad in and of itself (depending on your view), but it did distance him from his core audience; the album instantly produced a massive crop of bandanna-wearin' musclehead fans who willfully misunderstood the title track (and still do); Bruce went from scrawny, soulful street tough to calculated fitness buff (in the "Dancing in the Dark" video Bruce looks, as Bobcat Goldthwait said at the time, like a member of Up With People); "Glory Days" was a dopey song; it was suddenly even harder in the NY/NJ area to get concert tickets; Steve Van Zandt left the band to make screechy political albums (before returning to earth in time to give us Silvio Dante); Bruce dated (and married) a supermodel; "Downbound Train" is just plain stupid; and finally, for the first time, Bruce lip-synched in videos. (This list may be some people's highlights, rather than complaints, and if so then you may go in peace.)
On the positive side: I spent two summers seeing him at the Meadowlands again and again, which was great once you got past the whole football stadium atmosphere; there was an explosion of fantastic live and studio bootlegs that jump-started not only my already-intense fannishness but greatly inspired my own singing and performing at the time; certain girls suddenly found me that much more interesting because I knew all things Bruce and could play almost all his songs; if you were a fan you wanted Bruce to succeed so he could sustain a career, and clearly he did; and Bruce's own reaction to the fame and the failed supermodel marriage informed Tunnel of Love, which remains for me his finest album and one of the greatest collections of songs about love and marriage ever recorded. So there's that.
And finally, if you hear it right, the title track is the most powerful song about American combat vets in the history of pop music. I wish we had all heeded it better, since there are modern vets currently living out almost every word.