Quote from klone
It's not specifically the SIZE of the city so much as the crime, traffic and temperature extremes in the summer.
I read the other posts, and I think everyone has different views. Those crime statistics are interesting. No, I would never live like in downtown Phoenix, or south Phoenix, but the outlying areas can be really really nice! And in Tucson, it is the same thing, the inner city areas are bad, but the outlying areas are nice. For example, you could find a nice little house in Chandler, work at the hospital there and not deal with crime or bad traffic/communiting. Yea, you would have the heat, but like other posters said it is still hot in tucson.
I used to live in Sierra Vista which is a much, much smaller town, but even they have their problems. They have a big meth problem, and there is a high teen pg rate. The weather is great though. I was used to the weather there and went to tucson one evening when it was still 100 at 10pm, much different then the mountains of SV.
Every place is going to have the good and bad, and everyone will give you different opinions. You'll probably have to feel it out for yourself to see if you like it. Good luck!