Of all the SO Nationals that I have been to, Urbana and Bloomington have been the best run, best venues, nicest campuses. They really put on a great welcome at both places, and I think that last ime Nationals was at Illinois that offered a full scholarship to every C division gold medal winner (I believe B division got a $5,000 scholarship to Urbana). I don't know if they will do that again, and I don't know how many winners actually take the scholarship (many of our team members end up at MIT, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.), but with the economy going like it is, they may get a lot more takers next year.
I would like to see a West Coast SO some time. I have been doing this for 5 years and the travel time and jet lag (time difference) for the West Coast teams is sometimes brutal. We have some team members who can't come until Friday (due to testing) and they are like zombies during competition. WHen we went to DC last year our connecting flight got delayed by 6 hours so our travel time was like 12 hours total, and we were fried when we got there. In addition the shipping of the building event supplies is expensive and requires us to complete everything more than a week before competition. It must be great to just hop into a car or bus and be at the University in a few hours, in the same time zone, and with all your devices intact (without haveing to spend many hours packing everything in crates). If we are going to have to travel for 5 hours by plane then lets do this in Hawaii, or Miami, or Guam, or American Samoa, Puerto Rico, or someplace where we can do some diving and surfing. Just kidding, I really like Urbana, but a full scholarship to Stanford, Berkley or UCLA would be great as well.