Well, I enjoy the crotchety part some times.. hehe plus.. your smart ass witty comments are good learning/reading. But I can understand the change. HI is a hell of a place, yeah?
It's OK, but I wouldn't live there. I think if you had a good solid month you could do everything worth doing, from snorkeling and surfing to history and culture. After that, meh. The whole state is very much like Las Vegas in that it is a tourist driven economy. Even their specialized agriculture (tropical fruits, etc) isn't spectacular per se.
As for living there.. yeah, i wouldn't want to do it either. Pretty damn expensive and seeing things past the islands is a long flight anywhere. BUt it is a nice place to recharge and relax.
I have a different view... i think it's like most cities, it is what you make of it. I mean, people like living in vegas too. there's got to be something there worth the attraction. some places do have better draw then other, I mean SF is kind of touristy, but then you get past the draw and see what the city might have to offer, or the view, or the drive, etc.
It's exactly like Vegas in that most of the people who love living on the main island, love it because it's "home" not because of anything it particularly offers. I get sick of it after a week, but I love to go back whenever I can. Most of the people I have known from Hawaii have ended up moving away, especially those without any Hawaii blood in them.