First off, I'm assuming you came here from the homebrewtalk forums like me, based on your username. There are a lot of homebrewers in the area which means a lot of homebrew clubs. When you're out here, try to time it so you can visit one so you can visit one and get a feel for the people.
I've only lived in California (San Diego and near Sacramento) so I don't know what to compare the cost of living to, but there is definitely a wide range of housing available. Obviously the closer to the ocean you are, the more expensive. The closer to the core area of San Diego, the more expensive. The nicer areas, more expensive. I think you're right to come and scope it out. Check out redfin.com or zillow.com to see what the general house prices are, which even if you rent, roughly carries over. The public transportation here sucks, so you can mostly assume you'll have a drive commute. Most people I know have a 15-45 minute commute so feel free to look further north or east where prices might be less.
As far as I know there are IT jobs available. At least at my work, they've been hiring people both to fill new positions and backfill positions that have moved off to new jobs in the area. From what I hear from friends, it's hard to find RN positions here right now. I have a friend that finished her schooling for RN like 6 months ago and ended up having to move out of SD to get a job and many of her fellow graduates are having trouble. I don't know firsthand, but just a heads up.
The weather is awesome though.