I travel to the EU about once a year/every two years. I've applied for the Schengen visa thrice now - once for travel to Portugal, once to Greece, and most recently to Spain.
The Porgtuese consulate gave a visa that was valid for 10 days (my itinerary was 9 days long). For the same length of travel, different year, Greece approved a visa that was valid for 6 months. The most recent application for upcoming travel was at the Spanish consulate. They have approved a visa for 1 month.
A friend of mine applied earlier this year, at the Netherlands consulate, and he got a visa that was valid for 1 year.
In case you were wondering: I don't think it is finance: I have shown at every application that I could support myself for more than 6 months if I really had to (I only travel for a week or so at a time, and only for tourism purposes). I don't think it is ties to my home country either. I live in the US, own my place here, and have no itentions of moving to the EU. I prove that during my application as well. I have travelled around the world and have stamps from Singapore, Canada, the 3 visas above, and more.