I lived in East Point in the 80's and my parents grew up there, but I would not want to live there now. It is a pretty depressed area. My ex hubby worked at the main hospital there at the time and I would eat dinner with him occasionally and he had to constantly leave to go answer a code. I have never seen so many people code at one hospital in my life! Atlanta is not an inexpensive place to live, but coming from Chicago, you may not notice much difference. I personally liked the northeast side of town. There are more employment and housing options. Lawrenceville, Duluth are good family areas with good schools, lots of apartments, shopping and good hospitals. You have quick access to an interstate (during non peak hours) and can zip into Atlanta fairly quickly (also in non peak hours). The hospitals in easy commute are Gwinnett Medical Center and Joan Glancy, but you are in a reasonable commute to Emory, Dekalb Medical Center, Northside, St. Josephs and several other smaller hospitals. If you get too far north into Dunwoody, Alpharetta, you have entered the official high rent district, but a lot of singles like it because there are tons of apartments, clubs, shopping, etc. and it is a quick trip into Atlanta if you use the toll road. The worse part about Atlanta is the traffic. 285 is the circullar interstate around Atlanta and you are either going 85 MPH while travelling on someones bumper or you are sitting at a dead stop, not much in between. Obviously the closer you can live to work, the better. Good luck in your search. There are lots of really good hospitals in the area with comparable payrates and shift diffs. They vary so much with experience, I can't begin to help you with that, but see if you can get a Sunday paper classified section to get an idea.