Wheter or not you'd like living in Da 'Couve will depend on what kind of area you prefer. If you're a 'concrete jungle-ite', then this probbably isn't the place for you. While there is a 'down-town' area, it's mosly pawn-shops, corner cafes, and heavy industry. As mentioned, Portland, Or. is a stones throw across the river to the south, and provides enough 'big city' fix for most transplants.
Vancouver is one of (if not THE) fastest growing municipalities in the country right now. There's a lot of housing being put up in the 'burbs, and service businesses to go along with them. The house I lived in when I went to HS (15 yrs ago) USED to be surrounded by fields with only a SMALL grocery store about a mile away to the east. Now that house is surrounded by even more houses, that small grocery store sits in the shadow of a ginormous grocery outlet place, and more houses are being built even further east from that. Traffic is starting to reflect the building trend, and is not as free flowing as I remember it, but then I remember parts of vancouver where the only thing for a 2 Mi. radius was a 'new' gradeschool, a house, and an old 'tall steeple' church across the road from it. All the rest was open field or woods. Now that school is surrounded by strip-malls, apartments and light industry.
Finding something to do here all depends on what your interest are. If you like the outdorrs, you'll love it here. If you like to museum hop.... not so much. Heres some shots of the Gifford Pinchot NF
that I took while scouting out a new place to go 'Hurting Dirt':
Three shot panorama, left to right
All of those shots were taken less than a 20 min drive from home. ( well.... more like 30-45 min... but we were just knockin' round in the hills and not heading to this 'particular' spot)
I have yet to find a place in the NW that is NOT motorcycle friendly, though ignorant drivers are still a factor (just like anywhere). Theres a lot of beautifull backroads for your sunday rides too.
As far as crime goes... the Portland Police does most of the shootings around here (no... really.. I'm dead serious
) but other than that violent crime is reletively non-existant. Meth-labs seem to be our biggest problem, but the 'tweakers' don't go in for the violent side of crime... they mainly stick to the 'major annoyance' crimes: car burglery, ID theft, mail fraud.... etc.