I just read your posted message. I am going to give you a link to the North Carolina Forum - perhaps you can get some more information there:
I lived in Sarasota for over 20 years and moved to Asheville a year ago. It truly has been the best move I have made for me and my family. The school system for the kids is really wonderful! There are decent jobs at good rates. Housing is expensive if you live directly in Asheville. But there are very affordable areas that surround Asheville that are beautiful too.
The weather is wonderful, the people are great and it is a all around terrific place to live. Of course, over the last 2 weeks, we have been cleaning up from Frances and Ivan. Asheville was hit very hard with floods and dmaaging winds. Over 90,000 people were without power .... my power was just restored on late Sunday night .... thankfully.
Other than the isolated weather issues with have had this year, I am thrilled to be here and would recommend it! Good luck and check out the North Carolina Forum ... I am sure you can get some additional answers there.