4Kids really did butcher it....heck they totally mutilated it and stripped it of the glory that it deserves
thanks to Funimation, they salvaged it, resurected it, gave it a new all star cast. it is so much better. its like 4Kids never touched it.
all in all. One Piece is my all time favorite series. the creator Eiichiro Oda is a revolutionary genius! his style is not traditional, but its different in a way that it is original...in my opinion, he's style has a whimsical feel to it, which i believe is fitting to its story and such. his storyline is awesome and the morals that you learn from it is just amazing. all the characters are great, they all have a deep story behind them that makes them admirable in their own way. and they all kick ass.
i recommend reading the manga and watching the latest episodes online if you want to get caught up with the releases in Japan. the series is only getting better by the chapter/episode.