Phuket definitely surprised me - if only for a very short trip
Everyone I knew described it as a veritable cesspool, full of scam artists, garbage, and all the other negative consequences of over-development.
You guys who live there don't know how lucky you are
There are beautiful beaches, marinas, rivers, mountains, temples, and wildlife galore to see and enjoy. I would say Phuket has a little bit of everything for people of all tastes. Sure, it has its pitfalls, and it may be a bit more expensive than Bangkok, but to me... Phuket is worth every penny.