- very nice people, friendly, low crime, solid values, respect of elders, general politeness
There's your first mistake right there.
- Low taxes (19% it seems on business, self employed, contracting income) National Healthcare * life expectancy in Poland has been high and is rising.
Actually, 18/32% for self employed people. If you go into the realm of limited companies with no experience in Poland, you're likely to get yourself into a complete mess. And yes, a good English speaking accountant running a limited company on your behalf could easily charge 1000zl+ a month.
National healthcare is very hit or miss.
- Perhaps govt bureaucracy is worse? or perhaps it just needs some $$ to grease the wheels.
Trying to bribe people as a foreigner is almost certainly going to land you in trouble.
and help me understand why Poland isnt one of the greatest countries at present to live and build business in?
There is one thing that you aren't accounting for, which is the human factor.
Anyone that's been in Poland for any length of time can share stories with you about how foreigners got themselves into a complete mess with the powers that be, often unintentionally. The tax offices for instance are known for unpredictable interpretations, such as the latest interpretation that families that receive discounts for having a large family are liable to pay taxation on these gifts. An insane interpretation, but made all the same.