mmmk, here are my 2c.
I used to live in Brussels, Belgium, and it remains my absolute favorite city in the world. I hope to go back ASAP.
Hoegaarden is good, but you really do need the lemon. I haven't tried it stateside, but I have fond memories of drinking it between classes at university in Brussels. This is the beer that every American beer producer imitates when they say they have a "Belgian style ale."
I have a soft spot in my heart for Chimay rouge. I haven't had it stateside, but I remember it being my favorite beer.
We would also drink Belgian beers that were up to 12% alcohol content. If you can find Bush, it will get you drunk to be sure. The best deal in Brussels was to buy a 3euro shot of 160proof absinthe to get drunk, but who wants that? We're not in uni anymore fellas.
Stella is generally avoidable, and there are better American beers that do what Stella tries to do, but better.
Duvel is very good if you have the proper glass. Anyone in NYC, if you search long enough, there is a bar that sells moules frites (mussels) and Belgian french fries, as well as Duvel on tap. I can't remember the name but I'm sure it includes the word "brasserie."
Yes, I do have a hard-on for Belgian beer, but it is the best I've had in all of my travels.