In our fifth week living in our new house, I still can't get over how superb it is living in a central location within the city! We made that a major factor in choosing our house, and so far at least we have reduced our car use dramatically, which is a major quality of life issue for me. I sometimes don't use the car for a week or two. Rachel takes the bike trail or the bus daily, and I actually can walk to work. And every single major destination is within a mile or so and bikeable.
For me, the goal of divorcing myself from the car is more than just environmentalism. It's having your feet on the ground, being able to exercise in the course of your life, having a sense of community with the town folk, and enjoying the beauty of a gorgeous neighborhood.