Mixed bag to say the least.
Can't give much of an accurate rating of Denver proper, but the metro area can be summed up quite nicely: Overpriced for what you get.
There are some nice aspects. The restaurant scene is fairly good in my opinion. Then again, I'm not a food connoisseur. But since Denver is such a melting pot, you can find decent replications of most cuisines around the country. Most chains usually make it here as well.
The amenities expected of a city are all here. You get big-name concerts, a decent art scene, blah blah blah. That said, if you're here for the arts and culture primarily, you'll be disappointed.
The weather is pretty fantastic most of the time. Sunny is the norm, without getting miserably hot or miserably cold for very long at a time. The freak hailstorms are kind of annoying, though. And the snow, though it doesn't come very often, can hit really hard, and then the transplants from the South don't know how to drive, which leads me to the cons...
Whoever designed Denver's road systems wants to watch the world burn. Who decided we needed one main north/south artery for a metro area of 2.8 million?? Predictably, I-25 gets extremely clogged at rush hour, as do most other highways in the metro area. Drivers are not particularly friendly either. They are allergic to letting anyone in their precious lane that belongs solely to them. They also drive really slowly in the fast lane. In short, anything goes when driving in Denver. And it will only get worse as people keep moving here.
Also, I don't know how Denver gets away with promoting itself as America's premiere mountain city. The entire city lies on the Eastern Plains, with a few of the outskirts flirting with the foothills. Sure, you can get to some decent mountain views within half an hour if you live on the western side of the metro, but on a daily basis you only get to look at ugly brown foothills. If you live on the eastern side, you get to see mountains on a daily basis, but then you're 45 minutes to an hour from the foothills even. Then, if you like skiing and live in Denver, have fun battling I-70 into the mountains. You'll be cursing everything while you try to make it up there. Even if you're not into skiing, you're at least two hours from any decent mountains. If you want a city with fantastic mountain views and quick mountain access, Salt Lake is your best bet (though it has problems in other areas).
The Denver metro is spectacularly ugly for most of the year. It is dead, brown, and smoggy. I do have to say that it can be really pretty in the summer when everything is green, but that usually lasts about a month or two and then it goes back to brown. As for downtown, it is dirty, gross, and crime happens way too frequently for me to want to spend much time there. They didn't even design anything to look very pretty. It's big-box skyscrapers.
To cap it all off, living is expensive and the costs are rising. It costs more to get a townhome in many parts of metro Denver than it does to get a nice house in the mountains (though good luck finding any sort of an income out there). Add that to the fact that the city is not all that impressive in many aforementioned areas. The metro area is not unlivable, but to me it is unacceptable to pay so much money for a sub-par living experience.
What really sucks is that Colorado overall is an awesome, beautiful state, but usually a person has to live in this overpriced hellhole to find gainful employment. I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to live here. I would rather move to another state in which I can live in a better area than have to live in Denver in order to stay in Colorado.
Of course, I am not really a city person to begin with, so maybe I'm not the best person to be reviewing a large metro area. The only thing that has kept me sane while I've lived here is the ability to escape into the wilderness. It is extremely depressing to come out of the mountains to see the big, ugly, sprawling mess that is Denver calling out, "Welcome home, back to real life, sucker!" I can't wait to get out of here.
If anyone has read this entire rant, congratulations. I probably wouldn't have read all of this if it was someone else's.