LT of DaBoysof905 writes an excellent post In Praise of Small Communities. I think that for most people, small communities would better suit them, they'd be happier, they'd be more comfortable, they'd live easier lives, and they'd be much "better Jews" as well. I find it rare that people who have lived in both the tri-state area and "out of town" feel that the former is better; most wariness of small communities seems to come from people who have never lived in one, or who don't give themselves enough time to acclimate. In contrast, people who are from "out of town" but now live in NYC (such as myself) do get used to NYC and enjoy its conveniences - but would much rather be living somewhere else, and feel that the positives elsewhere far outweigh any of the ones here.
So, if you live within 50 miles of Manhattan, you probably should give other communities a shot - whether they're in Baltimore, Silverspring/DC, Cleveland, Memphis, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Waterbury, Milwaukee, Omaha, or wherever. Your cost of living will drop, your taxes will drop, and the time you spend at work or in traffic will drop. Your salary will drop too, but you actually will come out way ahead, so get over it. You'll have more time with your kids, you'll meet more people who are genuinely nice and polite, your own manners will improve, you won't always feel so rushed, a lot of the materialism will disappear, and your kids will learn how to interact with all different kinds of people. You can even walk out the door without carrying a cellphone! Amazing.
Just leave all that "New York-y stuff" behind. :)