I doubt I'll miss the snow. Overall which city(or cities) in Texas would you say best fit my desires?
Well, the cost of living is probably lower in Houston than in any of the other of the Big 4 cities (Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio), there are plenty of nice places to live, and the summers are more temperate than the others. However, most newcomers are taken aback by the humidity, the flatness of the land, and the fact that the lack of zoning means that you can go from nice to seedy in two blocks. I love living in Houston, but I can see how others might not. I think that most Northerners would feel most at home in Austin. It's hotter in the summer and drier in the winter than Houston, but the much lower humidity makes it much more bearable. Because of the University of Texas and the tech boom in the '90s, there are lots of youger people there, and it sometimes lives up to its reputation as a hip and happening place. The job market has been tough there for a couple of years, but I hear that things are picking up. San Antonio is a wonderful city with a climate very much like Austin. It seems like a much older city than Austin, and I don't think that that's a bad thing. Depending on what you want to do, San Antonio might be a tough job market, though. The Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex is, to me, the very definition of suburban sprawl. I lived for one summer in Plano and one summer in McKinney, and it was subdivisions as far as the eye could see. Undoubtedly, Dallas proper would have a different atmosphere. On the plus side, Dallas has a vibrant and diverse economy, so there are a lot of opportunities to do a lot of different things. There is, of course, more to Texas than the big cities, but I wouldn't recommend someplace like Brenham or Fredericksburg (both of which are wonderful) unless you're drawn to small town life.