Although I agree with MarylandMist that this topic may be better suited for another website, I am glad I stumbled upon this thread.
I attended school at RIT and UofR, and now I am working in Rockville - I may be able to shed some light on this for you.
I lived in Upstate NY my entire life until I took the job in Rockville. I was used to home with a nice yard as the normal standard of living. Down here, things are far different. One one hand, the economy down here is doing quite well. Prices reflect that though. The median houshold income in Rochester in 2009 was just over $30,000 a year. In Bethesda that same year, the median household was nearly $130,000 a year. If you want to purchase a standalone home in Bethesda, plan to pay at least a half a million. A nice condo will be between $250k to $400k. I chose to purchase a home in Pennsylvania and commute down. The commute is long (one hour each way on the rare days that traffic cooperates), but the house was about half the price of a 2-br condo in Rockville and actually has a yard. Traffic in Bethesda is a nightmare, especially right now anywhere near NIH and Bethesda Naval Hospital due to construction. If you crave a quieter and less expensive living option, I would check the areas north of the DC metro area like Frederick or Poolesville, MD. You will still have to contend with traffic, but you could take a commuter bus or train and Metro. On a good note, Frederick does have a Wegmans ;)