The reasons for the US having the BBS's and Europe the main cracking scene is simple.
Amiga was popular in Europe, it wasn't in America.
Americans could buy modems and hard drives cheaper than we could.
And the coup de grace was that bluboxing (phone phreaking) meant you could call the US for free, hence the plethora of US based BBS's.
As already mentioned, The Surge/Quartex was American, I can't think of any others.