I'm from Birmingham, an hour or so south.. Huntsville is a nice town. It's big enough to have plenty to do, but does not have ALL the big city problems.. There are some nice surrounding towns (Madison, Athens, Ardmore, etc.) if you don't want to live right in Huntsville.
It really seems to be growing and many nice new home developments are going up. Not to mention they have a KILLER 1/8th mile drag strip..
Huntsville aka Rocket City (NASA) is a very liveable city to live in. Nice parks and the Space and Rocket center is nice for visiting. University of North Alabama is almost a National champion (Division II). Great malls and lastly, a killer drag strip ( Huntville Dragway). They run 1/8 and 1/4 for big events (B&M Milliondollar race, Pro Mod shoot outs, Super Chevy tours and I believe the HOT ROD power tour came throught this year or last.
I'm 30 minutes from Huntsville and spend a lot of time there. My sister just moved to Harvest which is just North. It's a very nice town, like the others said it's big enough to do about whatever you want but small enough to avoid the big city problems.
People are moving in from everywhere so there are all kinds of new subdivisions and things going up all around Huntsville in about every price range.
The dragstrip is one of the nicest tracks in the south and it draws some good races like the street car shootout that was just here. The closest 1/4 is Steele which is not that nice of a track, a little to rough of a surface for me. So if you want a 1/4 you have to drive a few hours in any direction. Memphis, Montgomery, Nashville is building a new 1/4 and Bowling Green is about a 3 hour drive.
If you decide to come up then let me know and I'll try and give what little help I can. There are a few on this board that live in H'ville that may see this later.
1ARUNEM. Were going to Huntsville this Sunday for Test and Tune.