I think most of the discussion here got caught up in semantics. To add to this issue, I think the term "culture" speaks more to the point brought up by the original poster and encompasses everything being discussed.
The "culture" of a department of program, in my opinion, is critical to one's experience. Does the culture foster collaboration or competition? Is the feedback given to students more constructive or critical? Does the culture support the development of work-life balance or merely pay lip-service to it? Is greater emphasis placed on publishing, clinical work, coursework, or some combination of the three?
People thrive in different settings. I think we can all agree on that. The question than becomes, what culture will benefit your development as a professional most? The popular developmental notion of "goodness of fit" seems to be the most important aspect to consider. Teasing this out during interviews is a critical issue for applicants to consider.
Keeping that in mind, I would agree that graduate school is neither "laid back" or "easy going." If you are looking for either, clinical psychology may not be for you. Doctoral students, regardless of whether they are in a PsyD or PhD program, have a lot on their plates. The culture of the program/department can exacerbate/mitigate the stress that accompanies these demands.
For some individuals, a culture that fosters cutthroat competition will likely lead to a more difficult road, as it will increase anxiety and self-doubt. In contrast, some students thrive in these settings, as it may foster creativity, productivity, and success.
For many individuals, a more collaborative and supportive environment is likely to buffer stress levels, or at the very least, not pile on another layer of stress. However, this could very well lead to complacency and a lack of rigor, especially if one is not pushed hard enough.
Whatever the case may be, knowledge of yourself and how you respond to similar environments, will be critical in helping you choose what program is right for you.