The very model of a modern Major-General
I am a big of the whole 'pop metal' side of things, but the funny thing about the "hair metal" label is that there's always someone saying "Dokken wasn't hair metal", and "Europe wasn't hair metal" just because those bands we're actually good and "hair metal" is sort of looked down upon. The two bands mentioned here have something in common - they started out somewhere else, did the image for a while when it was popular, and then continued on with other things. Does that make them "true" hair metal bands, or were they just 'faking it' as those opposed to the image but love the bands like to tell you? Personally, I don't care - it's ridiculous!
Anyway, being a Swede, I grew up and started listening to music right when the glam metal revival wave here peaked. A lot of bands took the Mötley Crüe-thing straight off, others tried to interpret it in new ways. Some of my first concerts was with bands like Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar, and it is only afterwards that I've discovered the bands that started the whole thing. The only thing that can be said for both waves is that quality varied, but there were some super-great stuff in both.
Here are some great albums:
Dokken - Under Lock and Key (1985)
Dokken - Back for the Attack (1987)
Dokken - Tooth and Nail (1984)
Hardcore Superstar - Dreamin' in a Casket (2007)
Hardcore Superstar - Hardcore Superstar (2005)
Europe - The Final Countdown (1986)
Europe - Out of this World (1988)
Crazy Lixx - Loud Minority (2007)
Crazy Lixx - New Religion (2009)
Crashdiet - Rest in Sleaze (2005)
Crashdiet - The Unattractive Revolution (2007)
Since you talk about being a Swede - not wanting to wander too far off the subject - I can't help but feel a lot of the northern bands (Nightwish, Sabaton, HammerFall, Korpiklaani, sometimes Stratovarius) are treading quite close to pop, too, yet these are generally much more respected, although they tend to be kind of cheesy as well.
Don't get me wrong, I love all of those mentioned... but still, first of all how come so many people hate "bubblegum ladybender" and praise "bubblegum fairytale" at the same time? Me too, but I don't understand myself quite enough, that's sure.
Second of all - is there any more of a general acceptance in Northern Europe for the glam as well?