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I absolutely agree. I left recently as well after more than 3 years. I would not recommend working there unless you 1) Are working on a cutting edge project. Which is unlikely, because those positions are reserved for exceptionally brilliant types, including industry renowned figures (think Sebastian Thrun). Or 2) You want some job security with a big paycheck so that you can manage to live in high-cost Silicon Valley. In return, you'll take remedial work in Java with your choice on any number of systems that Google needs to maintain.

Most people fall into #2. Further, I found that many if not most of the engineers there are foreigners on work visas. Many are not that motivated or very good, and they are most concerned with playing politics and entrenching themselves so that they can stay on their work visas. This has helped to create a culture surrounded with politics and bureaucracy, even more so than other large companies I had worked for beforehand.

The Google name still has a lot of prestige attached to it, especially outside of the Valley. But word is getting out in the Valley about what a mess the company really is, and it's only getting worse.

I would go with a smaller company. You'll learn a lot more.

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