Best method of currency exchange?
I find that converting currency is less expensive before travelling. Currency exchange places at the destination usually charge a higher conversion fee ( based on my own experiences ).
I usually go to my local bank and get Euros. They require a few days advance notice if you want a lot of money, and you can call ahead and ask how much time is needed for the amount you want. You can usually get money from ATMs overseas, but they charge a fee on both ends, which can add up. It can be cheaper to get it done at a bank here and use the ATMS only if you're running low on funds.
Get some cash exchanged at your bank in the US. You don't want a lot, merely because you don't want to carry a lot of cash around, but enough in case your card doesn't work over there at some point. Otherwise, I'd use a credit card because you won't get the bill right away, or an ATM which will do the converting for you because an ATM in Amsterdam is not going to give you US currency. Yes, you'll probably pay a fee to get money that way, but the exchange rate should be acceptable.