While not completely rural, Hunstville, Alabama is a significant tech area fitting your description. Small city, dirt cheap, and you have NASA, Army (US Army UAV programs are mainly centered in Hunstville), and MDA all right there. Also they have a fair sized university there.
Two years ago I drove into LA on I-15 on a last minute business trip.
The amount of smog in the so called inland empire was amazing, descending from Cajon Pass was like driving into a fog bank. I stopped at some mall to pick up some cloths (Ontario Mill or something?) and could not see the building from the parking lot. No lie.
I did a lot of work on Kauai at PMRF. For years I would go out there for weeks sometimes as long as two months at a time.
As noted below, buying a house is a PITA (expense, and sometimes you can't keep the profit if you sell it), the schools are horrendous which is not an issue if you are single... which BTW if you are a single male living out there that is the way you will stay (if you are black or caucasian that is).
Also if you have a tech job out there... keep it. You won't be getting another because they are very rare.
Kauai is singularly the most beautiful spot on Earth I have ever seen... but living there is not as great as you think.
Aside from a male heavy gender imbalance that rivals China, you are probably right.
My rebuttal to Denver being a "hidden treasure": Aurora.
Metro areas, hence Denver/Boulder from the original post.
It is a fun little console. Some of the sames, while simplistic, are quite pretty and are fun (Ballistic is a good example of this).
That said, I realize I am in the tiny minority.
I doubt it contains the words "SUCK IT."
Dispose of my stuff in the proscribed manner at the municipal dump. TV's here, computers there, light bulbs in that shed, batteries one over.... but how do I know they aren't just paying to have that stuff shipped overseas?
E waste. Plastic in the ocean. Pharmaceutical water contamination. We are f'ed.
Mark my words.
This is great, until they find a field of gold nodules the size of New Jersey on the floor of the pacific or some shit.
Only to grow anew in the spring....
>> Combined with other telescopes' finds...
How little you know, fetid human. pewpew!