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> Buying a car costs roughly the same (sales tax and car registration may make a small impact).

Parking is a big difference though. You can rent an apartment in the Midwest for what it takes to park a car in some major cities. Not to mention higher gas and insurance.

That's probably true in the city of SF (at least with respect to parking), but I'm not sure it's true in the rest of the Bay Area, and definitely isn't my experience in several other west coast cities. It's been nearly 10 years since I've had to pay for a monthly parking spot, and the random meter here and there costs me WELL under $25/mo. Gas and insurance are a tiny part of my budget; moving somewhere that allowed me to even take them to zero wouldn't make a noticeable impact. And I honestly can't imagine they're more than 25-30% cheaper in most areas. That stuff isn't THAT expensive here.

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