I live in LA now, while finishing up school, and including grad school, in about three years, I'm going to be looking for a new place to call home. Barring the ability to get a work visa to work in the Eurozone (I'd move to the UK or France in a heart beat if I could get a well-paying job there), and having a geographically flexible job (meaning I won't be forced to go to Wall Street), I really still see myself in the West Coast. I'm just not a huge fan of LA, as I like the north a bit better. So my choices as I see them are as follows:
1.) Portland: Well laid out, and not a sprawling American city, with a nice artistic bent to it. However, it's probably a little too small for me.
2.) San Francisco: Not really much to say, except the gay community there is every bit as bitchy as the community in West Hollywood, and isn't as diverse interest-wise as one would hope.
3.) Seattle: This is really kind of front runner since it comes with the nice side benefit of Vancouver just next door. Both are absolutely beautiful, and I love visiting. The downside: No direct flight to Europe. Lame, but whatever.
Focus: Defend your city, or tell me what cities you like in the pacific northwest-ish.