You need to visit the area you liked, in this case the Triangle area, a number of times. You might have done that already. A few of the visits should be for @ least a couple of weeks, preferably during distinctly different seasons, in different parts of the Triangle region. Of course, there's no escaping the fact that you never know a place until you live there. But the best you can do is learn a lot, and the more you learn, the more educated your decision will be. In the end, it's always a bit of a leap-of-faith. Oh well. Life's exciting. Talk to as many former-Northerners as you can tag. There is no "too many" in that department, b/c all you'll get is opinion, but if you ask enough people who seem to share a lot with you, you'll see a pattern you can relatively trust and thus learn from. Ask yourself this, too: a) Can I adapt to the distinctly different nuances of Southern culture (learn about them!)? b) Are there social outlets that will welcome me and keep me happy (unless you prefer to be left alone)? c) Can I handle the climate? d) Is it truly a wise move?! Well,that, my virtual friend, is a question that every person can only answer for themselves.
Being a very specialized doc and thus needing to train all over, I've lived in Boston, NYC, Ctrl NJ, Baltimore, DC + its MD 'burbs, Madison (WI), Saint Louis, Chicago, rural IL, rural KY, and the list goes on. Every place has its pros and cons, as we know. Now I am interviewing for a job down East by the NC coast and, speaking for myself only, I truly hope that I get a job offer that blows my current one out of the water. I am done with the North with its overpriced everything, heavy traffic and what I find to be above-average rudeness and lack of general public civility. I actually like the cold weather, but that's it. As for the Midwest, it's both more affordable and friendlier than the Northeast (except for Chicagoland), but the job-market in my field is, well, weak there.