Report from the East Coast
Washington, DC is a good place. Not all of it, of course -- there are plenty of parts of it that have been neglected, and others that have been damaged by well-intentioned but misguided attempts at renewal, and other parts that were probably never any good to begin with -- but there is enough that you can walk around for hours with fantastic new streets to explore waiting around every corner. In addition to it being a pleasant experience, I see this as validation of the geotagged photo methodology for identifying the places that people like the most, and of my own ability to tell good places from bad when I see them.
At the same time, spending all my time in a metropolitan area makes it easy to forget that there are lots of people who don't live in metropolitan areas. At home I can talk endlessly about how particular districts or streets or intersections could have been designed to make them more welcoming to pedestrians, but when you are 5 or 6 miles away from anything at all besides farmland and other houses, there is just about nothing on earth that is going to make you traverse that distance in any other way than by car. Wherever you are, most of the time you've got to do what the land tells you to do.