I am probably biased because I really dislike the city of Berkeley (filthy even though it's small, stores have nothing and are tiny, only 2 bars I really enjoy, etc.)
Can you talk some more about your dislike of Berkeley? Where are you originally from? What cities do you like?
I grew up in NYC but really don't like it there much at all. Moved around a bunch in the Army and know that I hate living in the midwest and South. Currently living in CO and I love it out here because of how much outdoorsy stuff there is to do.
Yeah, I am from Colorado as well. Berkeley has climbing gyms and there is obviously outdoorsy stuff to do in the general area, but it's just a big drive (5 hrs Yosemite, 5 hrs Tahoe, etc.). I love to mountain bike and climb and run and I just wasn't really happy with how cramped and small the space was outside for doing anything like that. I also didn't have a car--sure I could have found some more trails that way, but it'd still be a bit of an endeavor. Not to mention the stuff doesn't compare to CO anyway. I was mostly relegated to the climbing gyms in Oakland. I'm sure I'm spoiled from CO but it just wasn't even close there.
I think I would've preferred a big city actually, because then you have the benefits of a big city (clubs, tons of bars, more restaurants, more culture, etc.). Unless you live in the city, Berkeley is kind of the worst of both worlds--too cramped and concrete to be very outdoorsy (there are about 1-2 decent places to run and a couple parks) and too small to give you city-life flair. That was my impression, anyway.
Also the stores are as ghetto as they come, from the Safeway to the Ace Hardware.