Alan, I concur with nearly everything the other NJ residents have written.
You'll certainly find housing prices here a great shock, and that's true nearly state-wide. The problem is that to find low housing prices you have to go to a place that's losing population, e.g., the Pittsburgh, PA, area, and places that are losing population do so because of lack of jobs.
I live in Cherry Hill, work in Piscataway, usually drive to work through Princeton and down the Millstone river valley (it does flood fairly often, as stated). I find the drive very pleasant; nice scenery, the occasional flock of wild turkeys, and too damn many deer.
I grew up in western PA, regard flat places as contrary to nature. Some parts of the state are hilly enough not to seem completely unnatural. But as flat places go, the Pine Barrens have their charms and have been growing on me for years.
Good luck, and remember that choosing the wrong job or moving to the wrong area isn't permanent,