Ofcourse we all like little homey airports, but lets face the truth, if you really need to get somewhere, you need options. LAX has a lot more airlines/flight to lots of different places, and you can also go farther without connections. Also, DA, AA, CO, UA, etc. ALL have mini-ubs there, which makes prices look good too.
I have a daughter who lives in LA, I live in Michigan. For the past two years I have always booked her on NW from LAX to DTW. This passed Christmas, the fares from LAX were outrageous. So.. I tried NW out of SNA. Much lower fare, she was able to be dropped off right in front of the NW counter. She said the NW folks treated her very well both to and from DTW,much nicer than the LAX crew. She has asked me if possible to book her from SNA from now on. NW uses A320's from there, at least the last time I checked.
Since you live in Newport Beach, SNA is a lot closer than LAX. If you can get a flight to where you want to go from SNA and the fare is reasonable, go for it. But if you can get a nonstop from LAX or it's a lot cheaper, go from LAX instead. And don't forget about Long Beach Airport (LGB). That may be an option too, and you'll probably drive by it on the way to LAX anyway.