I really love driving, but also love flying (not airports, but actually taking off, the flight and landing...). Used to think 8 to 10 hours was the cutoff, because of not having my own car in the city I'm visiting.
But with $3+ gallon gas, I just returned yesterday from SEA
(a mere 3 hours north of home) and flew on UA
. The ticket price was cheaper than gas up and back would have cost. For a deal like that, I can happily justify the expense and inconvenience of a rental against the joy of flight (even on an Embraer 120!).