I'll admit that the Bird's Eye feature does give more detail for a few US cities. However, when compared with google earth...we have:
3D buildings and terrain
Much better imagery for many other places, particularly Europe (I live in the UK, so I'm far more interested in the 6" resolution images of my area than even better images of the Statue of Liberty)
Business listings for places outside the US
A "Fly-to" feature that you can put a town name into, and go there, even if it is in Sudan.
Smoother zooming and navigation, with one detail level replacing another directly, rather than the screen blanking in between
A wealth of layers, showing or hiding everything from schools to national geographic articles
Dedicated kml and kmz file formats
VE is comparable to Google Maps, Google's very basic web-based map service. VE is probably better for the US, but GM is still much more useful for the UK. Google Earth, the downloadable currently in version 3.0.0762, is simply on another level altogether.
Comparing it to VE is like comparing the forthcoming Word 12 with Notepad.