I have lived in the following places:
In California: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Berkeley, Davis (near Sacramento), an Oakland suburb
New York City (Greenwich Village)
Portland, OR (currently)
London, UK (the old Borough of Clerkenwell)
I would not hesitate to tell you my favorite was London and my next favorite was NYC. Besides New York City, I'm not crazy about the east coast, really. I like California more than the PNW. Also, the job market in Portland is remarkably bad. Texas has a strong economy, at the moment. I like the bay area slightly more than southern California. I actually really like San Diego, but I've never lived there. And I think Oakland, CA is very underrated - a really great place to live in/around. However, Sacramento is near skiing and all that, but a fraction of the cost of living in the bay area. But I'm not crazy about Sacramento. Santa Barbara is great if you don't mind a slow place, but I like more excitement than that sleepy, beautiful town can offer. If you're a hippy, I recommend Santa Cruz - I have family there, and I enjoy it immensely.