One of the things that surprised me about San Diego is how geographical distances can sometimes translate to emotional distances. I'm an extrovert and I came from big cities (New York, Manila), so I'm used to having everything within 10 blocks away from me. I'm not used to the fact that to maintain friendships and networks, everyone has to travel over 20 miles. I am still annoyed that there is no real public transportation system in place that lets people NOT use their cars. It's easier to just not meet up sometimes because even though 20 miles is just 20 minutes away, who wants to drive that much? I'm also annoyed that to buy a bottle of milk, I have to drive.
However, the quiet, slow pace is a welcome change from the frenetic dog-eat-dog worlds that I've had before. I agree, the weather is amazing, and being always just 15 minutes away from the ocean is a grace. And driving here (after Manila and New York) is easy-peasy. It's not as cheap as I thought it would be, and because you're forced to have a car, it does get expensive. (Apartments don't always have parking, so you may need to pay extra for a garage or sure parking.) I read somewhere that the average rent here in San Diego is now around $1650 and that sounds about right. Although I have yet to see a place downtown that's actually around that price.
So I'd say it's a trade-off. The reliable all-year-round sunny days and blue skies for a slower pace. Amazing Mexican food for a more limited culinary scene. The comfort of having your own car vs the convenience of having an actual public transportation system. Being able to drive to the ocean for lunch or breakfast or dinner, vs not so cheap rent.