East vs West side?

When I announced my decision to join Microsoft, Don Box asked the question: “East side or West side”?

Well, the time to decide is not far now. I will be living in a Microsoft-provided flat for few weeks while trying to find my own place. I am thinking of renting for few months while I get to know the area and only then start looking to buy a house/flat. But even renting seems to be a difficult choice. Where do you try to find a place? East or West? I don’t have to make up my mind yet but I have started looking anyway.

I like busy places, with a vibe, night-life, restaurants, etc. However, it’s my understanding that by choosing to live in Seattle and the West side you pay the “commute” penalty. Staying at the East side you lose the fun of being in big city. Is this accurate?

Steve thinks West. What do other people with knowledge of the area think? Any advice is appreciated even though I do not have to make a decision for a couple of months from now.

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