Soon to be an owner of an Arabian.
I personally love them. Although they don't always fit my needs in eventing, jumping and higher dressage, they represent everything a horse should be - power, beauty and spirit. The Black Stallion
books were some of my favorites when I was younger.
My friend hates them for some reason. But she also doesn't really know how to have fun on a horse (no offence to her), so I make my own judgement.
I've never really been around any Chincoteague ponies, but I read Marguarite Henry's books, as well as her Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West. I do have experience with Mustangs, and love them. Helped trained a wild three year old (who now is ridable), and pony around on a little bombproof gelding. Loads of fun.