I love Barbados, one of my favourite destinations (although I've only been twice )
Condo or all inclusive? it all depends on your budget. Barbados is not really cheap, compared to some other destinations. When we were there, we rented a condo and went out for supper a few times and cooked 'at home' the other times. In the end I'm not sure if it was cheaper to go that way than doing the AI thing, but we're usually not too keen on AI's, especially at places where it's safe enough to venture out.
which area of the island is the safest? I'm not sure if one area is safer than another. Maybe it's a bit unsafer at Bridgetown, but we never encountered anything unsafe.
car rental or local transportation again, it's up to you what you want to see and do. Most of the time we just used the buses, which are dirt cheap, compared with transportation here! The small vans are a lot of fun, and it's amazing how many people they can and will fit in them ;D Having said that, we did rent a car for 2 days, just because we wanted to explore more of the island. We got hopelessly lost and ended up at one of the most beautiful spots on the north coast!
any "must see" "must do" Friday nights is the Fish Fry in Oistins, where they have a market, lots of food and live music.It's not just fish they sell, if you're not a fish eather (like my husband) It gets really busy, though! Another thing we really ejoyed was a trip on a catamaran. We went with Cool Runnngs, excellent service and food!
how's the local beer... I heard that the rum is very good... nothing wrong with Banks beer! We're not really rum drinkers, but the rum punch is quite good and the (local) Mount Gay rum is fairly cheap in the grocery stores
is the island known for their cigars? not that I'm aware of
The busiest sides of the island are the south and west coast. The south coast seems to be just a little bit cheaper than the west coast and it's closer to the airport. The east and north coast are rough, but beautiful. Have fun planning!