Though they're big and fuzzy, the charr are anything but cute. They've got sharp spikes, long claws, killer teeth and personalities to match. The charr know they can count on their own strength and the strength of their warbands, and put more stake into technology than spirituality.
The charr were the first big bad enemies we met in Prophecies. They destroyed our beloved Ascalon, and we're still kind of bitter about it. In Nightfall we meet a dead charr in the nightmare realm, and we learn that they're people too. In EotN we go even further and make a tentative alliance with a group of charr, after learning that they hate the group that destroyed Ascalon too. However, that still doesn't make humans and charr friends.
In the 250 years before GW2 takes place, the charr have made a sort of peace with all the major races, humans being the most tenous and the most recent. Outside of the game world, we have learned that the searing was not simply an attempt to take Ascalon, but to reclaim it, the charr having been previously ousted when the humans moved in. This makes them a lot more sympathetic as a race, and gives us a way to relate to them other than 'AAARG THEY DESTROYED MY PRETTIES'.
Not all charr have shunned the following of gods and magic. The old flame legion, mockingly known as the gold legion, still follows their shamans and fights to regain dominance over the other charr.
My main in gw1 wore charr hide armour. She now often goes around wearing a charr mask. Despite my affinity for humans, she's probably going to be a charr in GW2. I suppose this is what comes of naming her after another fuzzy creature. WTB purple hair dye!
Read more about the charr on guildwars2.com's charr page.