I grew up in the Denton/Asheboro area and my wife is from Albemarle. We are currently in Ft. Campbell in the Army but I love living in the center of the state. You can go to the mountains or beach in 4 hours which means a quick weekend getaway is easy to do. And you dont have to worry aobut missing anything.
I live in Wilmington and love the coast, beach, waterways. Its what I call a coastal quality of life...that said, I enjoy a good road trip to the mountains a few times a year too...but would rather live close to where I can surf!
It's clearly a preference deal, but for my part of the "I have an opinion" response:
I grew up on the beach in FL and spent 4 years in Jacksonville, NC. Now I live in the mountains and for my current likes, I likes the mountains the best, partly because I love the lack of people. My wife on the other hand loves the beach so we're sure to head to Hilton Head in the summer and stand in line for a lot of things.