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.
It is a little more expensive but not much. Remember I live in California. ;)
The flying everywhere thing would suck though. You can't even go to another big island without flying or taking a boat. There's no real "just go out and drive" thing going on, and I loves me some long drives. So yeah, eff that. heh.
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.
For other people it's all good. I totally get why people would like to live there. Just not me.