Thank you again for the stories and opinions! I still haven't made up my mind yet, but will continue to research my options.
fivecardstudpts- Alaska is awesome. I live on one of the islands so we tend to not get as the severest weather that the interior gets. The whole place is gorgeous. Amazing wildlife that is everywhere. The big downside is the cost of everything, food, fuel, transport, shipping... But it's still one of the few places I will choose to live! (Big bonus: no ticks, very few fleas, no poisonous snakes or spiders!)