As everyone knows, it's extremely expensive to live in southern California, especially here in Orange County (even in the economically-challenged city where I live). I could never afford to own here and will hopefully leave when I'm done with school.
I grew up here and returned 9 mos ago after living in the quite affordable, though much-maligned, Houston for 8.5 years. Sure, the weather here is unbeatable, and there's lots to do, but getting around to do it (gas is about $4.55/gal the first day of summer 2008) is very costly, and unless you live close to downtown LA, public transportation is not a good option. Groceries are also expensive, and with a state income tax and a sales tax at 7.75%, you get hit there, too.
Traffic is always a problem and people are usually in a hurry, but for the most part, folks are generally about as friendly as anywhere, though making real connections (friends or romantically) isn't easy. Like any place, SoCal has its good and its bad. I found that in other places I've lived like Las Vegas and Houston. If the pluses outweigh the minuses (you can put up with the crap for the good), you've found your spot.
Overall, if you have money and are willing to put up with long drive times, high taxes, poor state finances, smog, high stress levels and drought conditions (among other negatives) in exchange for great climate, all-season recreation options, a lot of wonderful ethnic and racial diversity (though there's a lot of racism, too), cultural opportunities, a plethora of dining choices, and sandy beaches, this may be your place.