I was in Seattle trying to get into the music scene some years after the whole grunge thing exploded, and to tell you the truth it was kind of a bust at the time. It seemed like it was moving away from fostering the artistic mindset and into a sleeker, more technological community. I'm not saying my band was the greatest thing since sliced bread (we weren't), but it seemed like a lot of venues, especially ones that allowed an under 21 crowd, were closing down and there simply weren't that many places to play. Not to date myself, but this was around 2000 or so, so maybe things have changed.
Portland, about 3 hours south, on the other hand is a lot smaller but IMO has a more vibrant musical and artistic community. Seems like there's a greater percentage of people here who do something creative, if not for a living as a side business or hobby. For that matter, Eugene, another hour south, also has that feel (almost to a fault).
Just my experience. As was stated before, these days you don't even need to leave the house to collaborate with great musicians all over the world.