I was out there a few weeks last year, and just got back from a week long trip courtesy of PacBell for a Lucent CBX 500 class... I got to thinking about how things compare between here in San Diego and out in DFW...
1: Jobs: Biggie. I work in the telecomm field. San Diego and Dallas have TONS of telecomm and computer jobs. Pay rates are VERY similar.
Advantage: neither (well, DFW really, read on)
2: Housing costs: No contest.For what I could sell my 1100 square foot condo for here in SD, I could buy a freaking mansion in nice areas of DFW. After paying off debts and realtor's fees, I'd have about 90-100K left to put down on a house. Basically, I could buy a house outright, and not have any other outstanding debts. Not gonna happen anytime soon here in Cali. Especially with the housing prices going up the way they are right now.
3: Cost of living: Gas is definitely cheaper, $1.32 a gallon for regular when I was out there Friday. Food's about the same, maybe a bit cheaper. Prices on other items vary, but it's cheaper overall.
4: Dating/social scene. Ohhhhhh yeah. Dunno if it's all the good paying tech jobs, or the fact that there're about 9 large colleges in the DFW metroplex area, but from what I observed, the ratio of women:men is a lot higher in DFW than it is in SD. That, and the attitude is different, more laid back (if you can imagine that) than here. I went to a lot of places around town, and never got any of the "You ain't from around here" vibe. People were generally really friendly, and easy to talk to.
5: Cars/smog: No contest. If I can't smog it in one county, I can drive half an hour to another one and get a smog cert from another county. Also, no visual inspection. If it passes the sniffer, it's all good. Can we get a "Hell yes!"? I knew we could!
6: Weather. Well, DFW gets it's ass handed to it in this department. San Diego is famed for it's mild year round weather. DFW is pretty nice in spring/fall, but winters can get really nasty, witness the recent ice storms, and summers get to be blazingly hot and humid, not to mention the occasional tornado and monsoon rain. I've lived in hot and humid climates, (Knoxville in late August, worse than DFW, IMO), and it's not impossible to live in, merely unpleasant.
Advantage: San Diego
7: Crime; Ever since former gov. George W. Bush put it in the hands of the citizens of Texas as to whether or not to allow concealed weapons, (which the citizens of Texas overwhelmingly voted for), crimes like rape, mugging, carjacking and so forth have dropped 15-20% a year. That, and since I own guns, and the senate and house in Cali are so far in left field they make Marx look conservative, I appreciate the bias of the law towards the ordinary citizen. I heard one story from a Texan at the SBC school where a guy was held up at gunpoint in a mall parking lot, and another guy a few cars down pulled out his licensed gun and killed the robber. Doesn't take many incidents like that to put the damper on carjacking and such. Hell, here in Cali, I need to be stabbed or shot if I shoot someone who's broken into my house and is robbing me, or else the cops are as likely to cuff me and charge me with attempted murder as they are to throw the book at the scumbag who was trying to rob me.
Advantage: DFW (all of Texas, really)
I know it sounds like I'm looking for excuses to justify moving, but really, I'm getting pretty sick of all the BS that California's dishing out. The lunatic smog laws, the idiots in the legislature, the ever increasing cost of proeprty and never ending tax increases, the miserable dating scene and gold digging hootchies... Sure, maybe the weather in Texas sucks a few months out of the year, but it makes up for it in other ways.
So, basically, if/when I do decide to move, what areas are good in the DFW area? I've heard names like Grapevine, Lewisville, Irving, and so on. What're the decent to really nice parts of town, and how much do houses cost in them?