I read through this whole thread and can't believe Maine hasn't been mentioned. In terms of New England that would be my pick over NH in a heartbeat. They have an income tax but property taxes are much lower, and income taxes not bad if keep income low. House prices are low in ME (outside of Portland and Southern Coastal ME), rent is low, huge amount of beautiful natural lakes, tons of rugged coastline, tons of quaint towns with colonial architecture (some towns dating back to early 1600's), university towns, nice mountains inland, drop dead gorgeous falls. Freezing cold & LONG winter though + lots of snow, but a lot more winter sunshine than the dark and gloomy but mild Pacific Northwest winters. May 15th-late Oct is a slice of heaven in Maine (or Vermont my 2nd fav NE state). No big cities in ME, mostly small or mid sized town living. I was not a big fan of Portland ME (my least favorite and most expensive part of the state but the biggest city).
Some of the great legends of frugality were and are Maine residents (for good reason!)....Jim Merkel author of "Radical Simplicty", Amy Dacyczyn's author of "Tightwad Gazette", and THE original back to the land-ers Scott and Helen Nearing author of "The Good Life".
I hear WA State mentioned here a lot. I live north of Seattle right now. This is a great place to live for many reasons (mountains, lakes, forests, islands, salt water, NO income tax, temperate climate, low electricity costs, low heating costs, NO cooling costs) BUT it is exploding in growth. Seattle is becoming SF Bay Area 2.0. very quickly. And home prices and rents are skyrocketing in the Seattle metro (and they are getting high in Vancouver, Bellingham, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett too). Traffic is brutal from Everett to Olympia. The state added 500,000 people in the last 5 years (Maine hasn't added 500k people in the last 70 yrs!). There are rural areas that are lower cost, but towns like Centralia, Aberdeen, etc... have a fairly economically depressed feel, not much to do, with few numbers of educated people.
One of the nice things about some other areas of the U.S. (midwest, rust belt, northeast) like Maine, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, etc... is precisely that they are NOT growing in population or changing so much. After living in CA for 25 yrs and Seattle area for 4 I am TIRED of the exploding growth, brutal traffic, skyrocketing rents and housing prices.
I like Oregon but the income tax is a deal killer and house prices are not super cheap either (Maine is cheaper). OR is also growing pretty fast. And OR income tax is not on a sliding scale like places like ME and VT. OR you pay 9% even if you make $30k a year AGI. In VT and ME taxation % rate falls the less money you make both income and property tax (VT) (use this site to estimate your tax burden....http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/salary/
I haven't been but Buffalo and Pittsburgh seem interesting due to low cost of housing, Pitt has a nice hilly topography than many Midwest places don't have, lots of colleges to bring life to area. I have not been to Cleveland or Milwaukee either but I'm curious because of cheap housing + access to amenities of those cities.
South Dakota has a GREAT combination of no state income tax, low house prices, and low property taxes. That is a combo that is very hard to find (except maybe WY). Perhaps the college towns of Vermillon SD or Brookings SD (I have not been). Rapid City SD has more sun and the black hills are nice, but its pretty isolated and have not heard a lot of good things about it.