I've lived in Canberra for 22 years and love it, wouldn't live anywhere else. I raised my kids here and can't speak highly enough of the schools, the sports facilities, availability of cultural activities, open spaces ... I could talk about the benefits of Canberra for days.
And hey! Thanks Paul, pvroom and others for the nice things you said about it! Many people put Canberra down because they confuse it with what goes on with the politicians etc, but the city itself and the people who live here are fabulous. Very family friendly.
Nice thing too is that a lot of people who make Canberra home move here from somewhere else (because of public service jobs etc) so there isn't that culture of having to live in the place for decades to be considered a local, which you find in a lot of country towns.
It's certainly not as expensive as Sydney, but it's not cheap either. There's a website called allhomes (google) for Canberra real estate that will give you an idea of house prices. Thing is though, while it's not cheap, you do get a much better quality house for your money than you would for the same price in Sydney or Melbourne.
Barry Humphries once described Canberra as only two hours from somewhere interesting. LOL! I find Canberra itself interesting, but I think there's merit in what he said - it's only a couple of hours from the beautiful south coast for summer breaks, or from the Snowy Mountains for winter sloshing about in snow, or from Sydney for a dose of big city buzz.
You might have gathered ... I love it here!