I have been in the States for about 11 years and is moving to Beijing to work starting next month.
I guess it's because I grew up in Taiwan so that I find Beijing to be somewhat familiar to me, at least to the extend of living environment. It really assembles the old Taiwan but with all the modern buildings.
I speak fluent Chinese and English and I hope this will make me a little different.
I also agree that majority of the Chinese nowadays in the big cities (this is the part that I know of) are only looking at money instead of anything else, which is kind of sad, but that's exactly what I expected especially when you have billions of other people competing with you.
I'm sure been able to speak Mandarin is probably the single most useful thing you can have for life in China. Good luck with your move, please keep us posted how you get on. If you do intend to look at Facebook, Youtube, etc. you will need a VPN. BTW are you teaching or doing something else?