Hi, Folks: Forgive me for trying this again from another angle. I hate making decisions that will affect the next two years without being as well-informed as I can be (I guess that goes without saying), but I haven't lived in the Midwest in a couple of years and am interested in learning about IL, but not the Chicago area. Even if you personally don't attend SIU in Springfield, IL, do you know of anyone who does? And how do they find the Springfield area? A friend told me last night that decades ago she remembered it as being a very poor area and not the greatest place to live. So much for state capitals, if true. All the info that I've been able to garner on the Net about the school, the hospitals, and the capital are very positive. Anyone hear different? I'm flying out on Sunday (first time since 9/11) and am not looking forward to this part of the trip. Any input from you folks would very much be appreciated. Nu PS I also want to add that I really enjoy the camaraderie, thoughtfulness and earnestness that many of you put in your posts. It's nice to see that so many of you take the time to help each other out with your input. I've found that being on this forum is truly an interesting place to be.