Duke is an excellent academic program. I think that they take applicants who have excellent marks, no red flags, and lots of ambition.
Whether or not ambition makes people Machiavellian is another story. Perhaps someone from Duke would like to comment on his/her experiences with the program?
Was just glancing through the madness that this entire forum will soon become and came across this thread. I am currently a resident at Duke and would be more than happy to answer questions about our program as interview season starts. Good luck everyone!