++exussum0. This thread caught me at a low point and I indulged myself in a fit of self-pity. I regret splashing the dirt around.
For the rest of the posters: I like where I live, and I'm bound here by the need to look after my parents. Cities have fewer people here, but that doesn't mean they're unimportant or inactive. There is a sort of high density rural population nearby that is much more economically productive than bedroom communities are. This place is active in transportation, energy, finance, and medicine.
Businesses here are very conservative and not very knowledgable in IP, so they basicly all limit themselves to what microsoft can sell them. I haven't had much success marketing LAMP locally.
Do it again, and we'll have to remove your letter e and u keys from your keyboard :)
You'd be surprised how much MS is entangled w/ business in general. Even here in NY - people love MS, because there's a finger to point at or a hand to hold. In terms of the perl interpreter, php, apache/jakarta and to some perception, mysql/postgres - they are disdained 'cause they seem unpointable. You can't pay, "the world," and get a patch for your OS in some agreed time line.
That isn't to say you can't fix it yourself or find help out there in OSS, or that companies can go away and/or say screw off.
Zaxo, re. city vs. rural, I think some cities may have a concentration of a specific type of company, and that can make the job market look a little different than it actually is.
For example, the city near me seems to be loaded with finance companies. The jobs listed tend to be pretty homogeneous (5+ years xp (usually Java or MS, but sometimes Perl), finance experience, trading floor xp a plus, long hours but high pay), so if you don't qualify for one, you generally don't qualify for most of them. The ads often have the mysterious phrase "hedge fund" in them, but I don't see what finance has to do with landscaping... ;)
Anyhow, if you factor out those finance-related jobs, I wonder if the market here isn't much different from a more rural job market.