Hi! In the interest of full disclosure, I'm cutting and pasting the following from a post asking about middletown, ct about a month ago -- Note that once you get past Middletown, a commute to NH is going to be more than a half hour. Also, cost wise we're pretty inexpensive (as far as CT goes, which isn't saying much unfortunately).
Other areas to look at would be Prospect, Southington or (if you're planning on homeschooling), parts of Naugatuck or Waterbury -- but again you're probably past a half hour ride with N and W. Prospect timing would be dependent on where you live (like if you look at a map you'd say 'oh we can drive down Route 10 -- but so do 3000 other people every morning). The nice thing about Middlefield/Middletown is that it's all highway driving.
well i live in middlefield (which is right next to middletown) and work p/t in middletown right by wesleyan. we're really happy with the area (we moved here from southern ct via nc). there is a good size network of mamas in the area. right in middletown is a place called 'home room' that has all sorts of different things going on during the week - different groups meeting for babies, toddlers, green mamas, la leche league, etc. a definite 'mothering crowd' place. the local library is fantastic. wesleyan offers a nice cultural touch to the town. kidcity is a great place to bring kids and there are several other kid type museums not too far from middletown (you'll find nothing is too too far from anything else in connecticut!). there's a great natural mama type store plus a good selection of good food stores all about 25 minutes away. new haven is about a 1/2 hour with a whole bunch of more great family and kid stuff. there's also a pretty large online/offline community of mamas based more or less in the central connecticut area - groups get together quite abit in the warm weather and even pretty regularly when it's colder (yahoo group friendly forest). there's also a very active homeschooling network throughout the state. cost wise my guess is this area is more expensive than austin (we have some good friends who live in austin) but you can find relatively inexpensive houses in the area. middletown is definitely the 'city' in the immediate area and there are lots of nice areas in town (and a couple that are a little more sketchy). if you want to live in a little more country setting there's middlefield (which we absolutely love!!), portland, east hampton and some other smaller towns.
my dh is finishing up his dissertation and while we always thought we couldn't wait to leave ct (having been born & raised here and all) i have to say we're really happy and it would be with more than a little regret that we'd move.
hth and good luck!!