Oh, I love House, and I've loved Hugh Laurie since the Blackadder days. It's funny, because when they were looking for an actor to play House, Bryan Singer wanted Hugh Laurie because "he just seemed so American."
I read somewhere that House is actually an homage to Sherlock Holmes. There are a lot of similarities, if you think about it. House = Holmes (Homes). Wilson = Watson. They have the same address (can't remember the number -- I was never a Sherlock Holmes buff). They're both addicts. There were more similarities, I just can't remember them all, but I think it's pretty cool.
My friends and I have a theory, that House is actually written by a bunch of former med students/doctors, and that all the illnesses etc. are actually things they read about in class but that were so rare the odds of it ever happening in real life were pretty slim, so they wanted to write about a doctor who deals with it all the time. And that the disgruntled students/doctors in the bunch wanted a character who could say EXACTLY what they wished they
could say to their own patients. Makes sense to me.