I've lived in Eugene for most of the past 20 years (egads!), went to high school here, moved away briefly a couple of times and never intended to settle here, yet somehow I did.
There's just something special about this schizophrenic town that gets in your blood.
Both hubbie and I work in Eugene and we like living in the thick of things. If circumstances were different, though, I'd give serious thought to getting some acreage outside any city limits, maybe something in the EFU (Exclusive Farm Use) zone to keep property taxes down and get plenty of elbow room. (You don't have to farm, timber also qualifies and would make a nice income if you sold a few trees every few years). I'd be looking south and east of Eugene, maybe something near one of the reservoirs to be near summertime fun: Lowell is in that 20-30 minute radius and is my favorite small town in Lane Co., lots more going on than meets the eye. Pleasant Hill is lovely and has a reputable school district but I'd stay far, far away from anything requiring access from Highway 58, that is the most accident-prone highway I've ever heard of.
As far as our two local hospitals, of the folks I've known to go to the hospital, 1 in 3 has ended up with an unplanned c-section. Regardless of RiverBend or McKenzie Willamette. In talking with other mamas and papas, RiverBend was popular for its beautiful facility, and McKenzie Willamette was preferred for its wonderful nursing staff. I would think all area OBs would have privileges at both. We chose to go the home birth route--if anyone is ever interested, please PM me anytime and I can give you the name of the best midwife (LDM/CPM) in Lane Co. married to my best friend (8/8/08 ), to intact (5/6/10), WA/OHM, thankful for