It's not the worst way to see a country - through a windshield - but it certainly isn't the best. Most of the countries I have visited were safe enough to get out and walk around in. I like visiting markets, eating out at restaurants, chatting with people.
I am lucky that my job requires me to travel. The law that provides our raison d'etre requires four trips a year. I have done eight in the last six months and hope to do at least eight more.
Most often, I am in the back seat when not in Kabul. I am the "guest" of the forces whose job it is to work daily with the Afghan forces or to conduct patrols or (re) construction projects.
I envy them the ability to get "out of the wire" daily and interact with the people. I know it is tremendously frustrating at times for a US Army captain to "train" an Afghan Colonel, but can it be anymore frustrating than another powerpoint presentation?
So while I would prefer to drive, any trip outside of Camp Eggers is by definition a good one.