I am totally have a case of "grass is always greener". I now have a new Dept Chair. Much more difficult to work with... Love the new higher up admin
(president). It has great potential, but potential won't lower the course load or up the salary and benefits... Love that I get to pick what I want to teach, hate that scheduling is a bear and that no one but the president and maybe 1 colleague understand what the heck I do for research.
A few other jobs are open in the state. One isn't posted yet and I am not sure it will be in my expertise area (State U), the other two are in my secondary areas (I did my exams in that area and have used those tools in my dissertation, but I never really thought about it as a strong specialty area). Anyway, of the latter two one requires a move (but I applied there a few years ago and made it to alternate with a PostDoc offer), the other is a 60 min commute each way, minimum. But both are at least 15K raises + double benefits with a course load reduction of 2-3/year. The one that isn't posted yet is at a State U, much closer, but salary and benefits would not be that much a jump. All three would bring me closer to possible collaborators. One has a major in my area of interest, the other two I have existing contacts. The closer State U actually has a working group that has invited me to join in on an NSF proposal.
I feel like I only have a window of the next few years to make any job changes. After that I am essentially too out of touch with research with my high course load to make any changes. I am up for promotion (no TT here), so that is a small bump, but another offer could really make that a bigger bump. I will be going to the national meeting where interviews are conducted since I am on a fellowship. I just defended, have not published from that defense yet, and feel like I'd be a much better candidate NEXT year. The State U *might* have some positions next year, but you know how state funding for education is so up in the air...