I'm a student at Purdue university on the west side of Lafayette, and I love it here! I also grew up in the area. I'm able to afford rent, even as a student, and there is a lot to do around town. It isn't too large of a city, so usually no major traffic issues. West Lafayette has a lot of incredible Mid-century modern architecture that I find gorgeous. There are a few dumpy areas, but I think that is to be expected in any city. There are considerably more nice neighborhoods than bad, especially around the university where all of the professors and such live. I really love this city :) Except in winter, the midwest isn't known for having too kind of winters, but Lafayette tends to do a very nice job of keeping the roads cleared.