I lived in Springfield/Branson for about 12 years between 1993 and 2005. The positives:
1. Lots of outdoors activities.
2. Fairly good scenery compared to northern Missouri, but less grand than Arkansas.
3. Lots of colleges if you want to further your education.
4. Lots of cheap shopping and activities (not always so cheap) in Branson.
1. Extremely low pay. I knew people with masters degree's in Engineering who were barely making $30,000 a year.
2. "Good jobs" tend to be the domain of "Old boys clubs", meaning that yes there are jobs in the area that can be potentially lucrative but your chances of applying and actually getting one sans some nepotistic influence are about as good as a snowball's chance of survival in a blast furnace.
3. People are cliquish, and I mean VERY cliquish. Don't think that you'll be able to hook up with your "dream significant other" or just peruse your way in to the social circles you want to be in. You'll have to provide them with something other than your bright, sunshiny attitude.
In summation, Springfield is a great place for a person who ahs made momney someplace else and wants to spend it in the form of retirement, or for a person who lacks the afforementioned and just has very low expactations out of life. I tried to but it at $8.00 an hour there for 12 years and in the end, I had $30.00 to my name. I now make over 6 times what I did in SW Misssouri in an month.