But like I said, restrained bitterness is my impression of west coast IPA too.
That was my thought, Denny. Now granted my sample size was restricted to California and not the PNW, but I took a trip out West a few years back and tried alot of the high profile beers out there - Alpine, Ballast Point, Stone, Bear Republic, Russian River, etc. - and found them to be among the hoppiest ( and best) I ever had.... by far. Bitterness on those IPAs was moderately high to melt your face. And I know not every brewery in the western states makes beers that way, but my impression was that a lot do. They're definitely not scared of hops at those breweries. Those are actually the IPAs I try to emulate today.