As far as renting housing, as a proud home-owner I would say definitely rent.
When we move, we just make sure we find a rental close to an Ikea, Craigs List all of the Ikea stuff before we go and then buy it again when we get there, saving thousands on moving expenses.
I'm wicked good at assembling the entire "Lack" series...
I'm about to try this with our biggest jump ever. From the USA to Australia. Selling everything and starting over is hard but has been strangely refreshing.
We'll be starting down south, in Adelaide, coming from DC. What struck me most about the difference in these two places is just how laid back and casual everything is down there. Right-hand drive is stressful for me though!
I'll be back down there in a weeks time looking for a place to live and finishing immigration paperwork. Any HN folks in SA who might want to meet up for a quick pint some idle evening, drop me a line.