I'll echo the sentiment about Boulder. I haven't been living around here for too long, but it doesn't take long to completely get the Boulder vibe. Awesome parks (Can't beat the access you have to Chautauqua), also a pretty good food scene, but man the people are something else. The housing prices are also extremely wack due to their crazy anti-growth policies to keep Boulder "Boulder" as they say.
I really like Golden actually, I can't comment too much on the nightlife scene or anything, but it gives you good access to the resorts, not to mention Clear Creek Canyon and Golden Gate Canyon Park are all really awesome. It's also really good access to Denver, so plenty of opportunities for jobs. It's a good compromise location imo.