As the thread has already been disrupted, thought I might chime in. I grew up in Newcastle, spent a year in randwick (on a military base), then a year in Bondi in a furnished apartment, I then lived in Darwin for 12 months, back to Sydney where I lived in an apartment in Guildford for 12 months, then a house in Holsworthy (next to liverpool) for two years, then a year in an apartment in Chatswood whilst I worked at South Head, Watson, then an apartment in Darwin for two years, then an apartment in Teneriffe, Brisbane for 6 months, then a yacht at a marina in Scarborough, Brisbane for 6months, then Darwin (on a military base) for 12 months, and I am now praying to all the gods that I get posted to Holsworthy in January so I can live in an apartment again.
I figure Sydney is fair to middle on the expensive scale and it all comes down to your choices. As ERE lists it your first 3 concerns are - housing, Transport and work.
I have lived on all three sides of Sydney and worked on the south and in the middle. I found that if I wanted to go out I could catch a train no probs -tho whilst living in Chatswood we did have the saying "oh thats OTB, no thanks (over the bridge)" Otherwise, I am an avid hiker and spent most weekends in the blue mountains. I found living in south / west of Sydney was better for this but then its all connected by motorways and train lines. If I get back to Sydney in January 2016, i intend to live in a new apartment in Liverpool, due to the closeness, to work + plus the accessibility of the city and the blue mountains by train. I tend to find the general cost of an apartment in Sydney is $500 / week rent (which is what the Defence force assesses as the average for our rental subsidy)
Otherwise i would like to see a list of Australian Capital Cities by cost IAW forum users opinions
Darwin Cetainly needs to be at the head of the list as the most expensive whilst Brisbane and Sydney are about equal these days