Re: Charleston, Columbia or Greenville?
Columbia is easy to get scared off by the drive in, especially if you're coming in on 1 through West Cola. I've lived here since 98 when I started at USC and it's gotten better and better.
I would love to live in Charleston but it's very very expensive. Also the commute into town would be a lot tougher if I recall from my parents living in Summerville up til 2001. Downtown charleston does seem to be getting more for the tourists by the year. My memories of the surrounding area are "only" 10 or so years ago, and it seems IOP was a deserted island compared to what it is now.
Greenville is last on my list. To my knowledge it's smaller than Columbia in terms of built up area and doesn't have a lot of cool neat areas besides downtown. It does have the draw of a PF Changs and perhaps being somewhat cooler during the year. Any advantage over the other two Gvegas has is mitigated in my stereotyped mind with the Clemson fans that must run rampant and unchecked up there. Seriously, there should be a law. My opinion of Greenville is as stereotypical and knee jerk as it gets though. I know a lot of members on the board live up there.
In general I like living on some land and not really into a 1/4 acre lot in a neighborhood right now, although that may change. I currently live in Lexington (according to the Post Office, but it's pretty much Gilbert), just FYI.