The love-hate relationship with France seems to be a pretty standard feature with most expats. I confess to still having vestiges of that myself (and I've been here almost 20 years now).
But articles like this one always make me smile. I don't really understand the concept of "cost of living." I've mostly noted that you spend your money in very different ways in the various countries. Some things are more expensive, others are less - it really depends on what YOU decide is important in your life and how much you adapt to the way the locals do things.
Austria is nice - but do you have the language? It also depends on the line of work you're in and what the demand is for that there.
Nice to know that most people are in the same boat!
I totally agree with you - our money seems to go to different things here than it did in Aus. But that's understandable - as we lived in Sydney there and we live in the "relative" countryside here (though it's far more populated than the countryside in Australia!). I think what really gets my goat is the wages and the taxes here - for both of us, we're earning about three times less than we would in Aus or somewhere like Canada.
My husband is an engineer, but is going for the mountain guide selection next year and should get in - so his work in Austria is sorted as the French are always complaining that hardly any Austrian guides speak French (at least they complain about it on the mountaineering forums). He has the language, I don't. Wow, it'll be like moving to France all over again! Though German is a language I've always wanted to learn and I figure, while I'm still learning French it'll just be like a continual learning process. It will be my fourth language, so hopefully it'll get easier.
In terms of my line of work, there's NOTHING that pays well enough in the advertising world around here, unless you're in Lyon or Paris, so I'm currently looking for jobs here, having just got my récipissé for my long-stay CDS and I'm going to have to go for a career change. Hoping to get into the export world and capitalise on the fact that there aren't many fluent English speakers in my valley.
What we'd like to do in a few years time, however, is to buy a gite over in the Austrian Alps, pop out a kid or two, and pimp out his mountain guide services to Frenchies and Anglos... I love the Austrians too - very cool people.