This is what I'm interested in:
Cheap housing. I'm going to be broke. Along the lines of subletting a room for $500/mo or less
Probably not going to happen IN Seattle, but the surrounding areas are less expensive, however if you are working in Seattle, the commute WILL suck.
In Bellingham it would be hard to find a place to live that would be over $500.
Access to farmers market(s). I'm a big foodie.
Seattle has millions more options in terms of farmer's markets and ANYTHING that has ANYTHING to do with any sort of culture. Bellingham has a market, but it is nothing spectacular.
Good public transportation and/or walkable/bikeable community.
Both are excellent for short to medium distances.
Access to hiking, parks, etc. Again, I'm going to be broke so free entertainment is key.
Both are excellent, however Seattle will involve a few more minutes of travel to said hiking, parks.
A fun city where it's easy to meet people in the 20-25 age range.
Depends on who you're looking to meet. Bellingham is full of poser ass hippies (Brett McChesney), white trash thugs (Jordan Bergeson), "college" kids (Zach Davison). The Seattle area, being populated by 3.4 some million people, has a wider variety. I guess with any situation it all depends on who you are and what you like and this will usually determine the people you will being kicking with.
And of course, access to dope skiing. But given that I'm from PA, really anything is going to be a huge upgrade.
Seattle is the best place to live for skiing. CRYSTAL IS THE BEST RESORT IN WASHINGTON and that is two hours away, Snoqulmie is one hour, Stevens is about 2, and Baker is 3. From Bellingham: Baker is 1:15, Whistler is 3 hours, Stevens is about 2:30, and Snoqualmie is a 2 hour drive.