I need to get the fuck out of CT for all the reasons you stated. I loved Arizona for the nearly 3 years I lived there, best state in the US as far as I'm concerned. I moved back here for family reasons and I'll probably be getting married to my Northeast for life girlfriend soon, and I'd hate to lose my pension again, so I'm probably stuck here. I actually like our summers here though, but the winters are horrible and the people blow ass. Come on Global Warming where you at!?Moutains, the temperate climate (never too hot, never too cold), it's actually cheaper to live here than Connecticut was, the food, the people here are a hell of a lot nicer, very outdoors focused, etc. Truth be told, I very rarely see anyone that would be classified as a hippie, and I live in one of the trendy neighborhoods. Portland is far worse about the hippies than Seattle is. I don't really care about the beaches, personally as I went a total of 1 time when I lived in San Diego.
I don't mind the rain, and the Summers are awesome weather. 75 and sunny. There are no ghettos in Seattle. Some areas aren't the greatest, but they are far better than the East Coast/L.A/San Diego ghettos. I can walk anywhere I want and not worry about getting jumped like I would in Detroit/Baltimore/DC/Southcentral LA.
In my field of work I have few choices on where to live. I think I would like NorCal just as good if not more, but I have no way of finding work there. San Diego was awesome to live there, but I wouldn't have stayed more than 5 years. Oregon was pretty cool, but again, no work for me there. My options were basically Seattle, very limited amount of work in San Diego, Mississippi/New Orleans, Norfolk VA, DC, or New England. New England is expensive for no reason, too cold in the winter, too hot/muggy in the summer, and the people there are assholes. DC: Fuck that. I absolutely hate that area with a passion. Hate the people, hate the traffic, hate the cost, hate the weather, hate everything. Norfolk: Not expensive, but some shady areas. The work available is government work, which I don't like at all. Gulf coast: Waaaay too hot/muggy. People are nice, cheap to live there, but there's not a lot that I'd like to do there. Too flat as well. I like to be in the mountains.
LA is too crowded and too expensive.
I don't expect most people to like Seattle. A lot of people don't like the overcast weather in the winter. But, it's where I'm thoroughly enjoying living.