It's a very nice place by and large and I'm surprisingly happy to live here. Honestly, I suppose I always imagined living in New England or California by this point and not the backwater south, but NC is growing in all the right ways.
I initially read that thread and was a little surprised nice kitchen knives are popular here, as the South is typically considered poor and doesn't like foreign things, but after some additional consideration, I can expand on why. Caught by my own stereotype! For one, NC has Asheville. Asheville, if you haven't been, is one of the most fantastic cities in the Eastern US, particularly in terms of food and beer. Driving up there is nearly religious; you climb up, up, up these beautiful mountains and, just when you reach the top and think you're truly out in the middle of nowhere, you pull out of a tunnel and a a ninja city bursts from the rock. It's surreal.
It's atypical for the South. It's a compact liberal city with decent transport and loads of sidewalks. There is a very high density of restaurants per capita and a lot of them are world class. It has an excessively strong farm to table movement there. For a while, and this may still be true, it was the greenest restaurant city in the country. The beer scene is amazing, too. In fact to illustrate how atypical the city is, there's a bawdy beer tour that takes a two story bus through the streets and is directed by a man crossdressing as a nun. The locals are pretty damn proud of it. I've been seriously considering moving up there for a while. I truly cannot recommend it enough as a destination vacation.
North Carolina also has Charlotte and the RTP, a conglomeration of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Charlotte's bigger, but I honestly like Raleigh much more, hence living here. They are two of the ten fastest growing cities in the country. Carolina furniture and carpets are the past - I live less than five miles from the largest analytics software company in the world. Both cities have some big name tech and medical firms, which brings a lot of young professionals, which brings a lot of high quality restaurants. The restaurant scene in Raleigh and Durham, in particular, shows every sign it's going to be Houston twenty years from now.
I particularly like the thousands of oak trees. And the only pro sports team plays the only sport I care to see.
All in all, I've really grown to like it here. My wife is looking at grad school in New England, but I have little doubt that after I move away, I'll be back. And if she ends up at Duke or UNC, well, I won't complain.