When I look for job offers, I try to also learn about the place and imagine myself living there. I know that in the end I will probably take the first offer I get, as it's pretty dry... but it's fun to think about it and I think it helps with the anxiety a bit.
I always look for the same things: proximity to the city's center/downtown, craigslist apartment rental prices, walkscore.com to check if I can survive there without a car. I sometimes check the forums on city-data.com, to get a better feel for the place. I feel like I am learning a lot about America in that way!
I thought that I would write down some interesting things I found out.
Atlanta, GA - great gay community (esp. if I scored the job in gay synagogue), good weather for riding a scooter, walkability livable. Good prices for rental.
Bridgeport, CT - the town itself kind of strange, a lot of areas that are not safe. Very high rental compared to the salaries and general likability of the town. A lot of the apts didn't look great. bad public transport, so a bit difficult with no car.
Spokane, WA - I think best option - it scored "walker's paradise", the apts are cheap, and the salary is higher than I have now. It's probably quite cold and rainy... but not too bad.
Portland, ME - beautiful area, great for hikes. Long winters with so-so public transport. But the city is pretty small and seems like it would be pretty easy to walk to a lot of places. Rentals not scary, but nothing special.
Las Vegas, NV - desert, in the middle of nowhere. I like desert, but living there might be tough... good for a scooter though. In NW is actually walkable/reachable, with so-so public transport. But the apts are cheap and beautiful! Some half the price I pay now.
Washington, DC - well, it's DC :), great public transport, no need for a car. Apt prices are ridiculously high, and it might be that I woiuld have to either sell my kidney, rent a closet or live with a roommate to survive.
Bay Area, CA - a few different places really, but similar pros and cons. Beautiful, weather, gays, scooter-weather, but high prices for rentals and very far anywhere outside of the small area where I would live.
San Antonio, TX - hot, Texas, far from everywhere, very difficult to survive without a car. Could use a scooter, but still difficult even though the weather helps. The rentals weren't that bad, but nothing special.