Having lived in a communist country I think there are actually two misconceptions about communism.
The first is very simple what the media created. In my case, the USSR was a communism and overall, worked quite well. The problems with it, was the general idea in the western world that the Soviet Union was poor, uncivilized, not free, etc etc. In that time, people were 'as free as they wanted to be'. For the western countries the country wasn't free but in the USSR, most people were 'happy'. The state owned everything and everybody worked for the state and everybody had a job. There was no poverty or wealth, it was all the same. Only when Mr. Gorbatchov decided to shed all those ideals did things go wrong. The world could suddenly see Russia and the other countries and saw poverty, created by the void that Communism left.
The second thing is that Communism as Marx decribed it is Utopia. It's unreal and impossible to ever implement, so to take it back to the start, which kind of communism do you mean? The Communism the Soviet Union had and China has? Or as Marx described it?
Communism as it was in the USSR, it worked for a country that size and people had a house, a life, a family and were happy for their standards. But also here there are two different sides to the tale. Lenin was a 'good' leader. He was a good man and led his people right. Stalin on the other hand was not a leader but a dictator. For Russians this is a delicate subject as some see Stalin as the victor of WWII and others see him a ruthless dictator. But that's a different story I guess :)
The leader is also the weak point of the whole communism ideal. We now all want elections to choose who our leader is going to be and in a communism there is no room for elections because everybody is equal so in theory everybody could run for president. Or another theory, a country with no leader and a common, widespread 'belief'. If every human being on this planet would indeed be equal and we all had the same idea's, no leader would be needed. Unfortunately when Marx dreamed up his Utopia called Communism he didn't think about the human itself. Nobody is identical and thus nobody is equal.
Bit of a long story but in general, the Utopia is nice but nothing more than a Utopia. Communism as it was in the Soviet Union or in China is in my opinion a better form of government than for example the many different party system where the majority of the votes always gets left behind.