I'll bring you up on one point - ethnic diversity.
A colleague at work from Sydney was comparing it to Melbourne. She said one thing she preferred about Melbourne is overall it is far more mixed than Sydney - you go into most workplaces in Melbourne, and generally they are more mixed according to her.
Another point she made is that in Sydney there tends to be a lot more concentration of ethnic groups in particular areas, whereas it seems to be more spread out in Melbourne. Could be possible I guess, naturally Melbourne has some of this too.
Melbourne does have the largest Greek and Sri Lankan populations outside their home countries.
BTW - according to a study done years back, when your water up in Sydney was infected with who knows what kind of funny bugs, Melbourne actually was rated as having the 6th cleanest water supply in the world. Remember Giardia?
Does Sydney really have the greatest implementation of public transport for a car based city? I've never heard of that claim. In any case, we've got a simpler ticketing system. If you want to play on the who's flashier game - I'm not a gambling man, but well, Crown vs Star City.
We haven't had the Olympics for years (which was very well run I must say up in SYD
- still remember leaving on an AN762 VH
, and 40 seconds after takeoff off RWY34R, Cathy Freeman won the 400m). But we still have the Grand Prix.
Based on my experiences in both cities, I prefer Melbourne. The cost of living is lower here, the city is better planned, less congested. At the end of the day, these things are more important to me than a building or a body of water - they aren't going to improve my quality of life, unless you want show off bragging rights.
We've survived without a fancy harbour for years. Our airport is one of the easiest to use in the world.
We have more variety here. Food is excellent, and you can never get bored with Melbourne weather. We have lower levels of crime.
Remember that accolade that Melbourne held for years - The world's most liveable city! http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/10/04/1033538761412.html
. Sydney's down in 8th place - still not bad.
Sydney seems to have the big flashy things that are most apparent to the tourist. Melbourne doesn't have that - we don't need it, we're happy where we are. At the end of the day, once you peel beyond the facade, Melbourne is the place to be