Argo, I've worked in Chehalis, Olympia, Shelton, Bremerton, Mt Vernon, Anacortes and Bellingham...no desire to live in Seattle/Tacoma area. Lived in Olympia once and Bham twice...currently plan on dying here...but not anytime soon. I prefer North Puget Sound vs South Puget Sound or Central Puget Sound...south is a bit more warm, alittle longer summers, further from the water, more traffic, more sburbs. Central Puget sound, more parking lot traffic, more IT coffee snoobs and "isn't Seattle cool" shitheads.
Bham because you can get to the hills, islands, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, kite boarding, all manner of biking, hiking, camping much easier, faster and there are a fair amount of devotees in each sport. Its abit cooler, summers a bit shorter and less temp extremes. Its more rural, farming fishing logging feel and not so burbish. If you want the cosmopolitan thing Vancouver is 45-60 minutes away and Seattle is 90 minutes and either Van/Sea is easily accessible by train. Bham is the "city of subdued excitement" or excrement. Alot of young single people say its hard to meet mates here but its a great place for families with kids. As for social and political stratification its alot more open or integrated and educated librail verses say Olympia or Bremerton where you have military, government and service and each stay to their own.
Anyway, it sounds like you might be in the medical field and I work in most of the ED's in the area. So if you/family are in the area for a visit let me know.