I have a conundrum that I would like to put forth to my readers, mostly because I don't really feel like calling everyone to get their perspective. I have two options.
School A: Offered me a funding package including full tuition benefit and a stipend.
I go to School A already. I have good relationships with the faculty, find the location to be very livable, beautiful and comfortable and I have many wonderful friends here. I've gotten good public history experience here and would continue to have such opportunities. Granted it's a really tough year for the job market-- nobody that I know who's applied for jobs with a PhD from my school has gotten hired. For the uninitiated, everyone in our field is operating on the assumption that the job market will continue to be rough.
School B: Waitlisted me for a similar funding package and won't notify waitlisted people until after they accept the admissions offer. Basically, they are asking me to make a blind decision.
School B is located in a huge metropolis on the other side of the country-- living there would definitely be an adventure and would offer more of a singles "scene" (not to mention great cultural and sporting events, the resources of several other universities in town and it is only a few hours away from some of the best libraries in the country)-- and I could take my car there. It has a very strong group of 20th century US historians and offers excellent public history training. School B is more prestigious than School A, and they have a very good rate of job placement (everyone who's worked with the person I would like to work with now has a university teaching job).
So which one would you choose? Short term stability with a risk of not getting a job at the end, or short term risk with a reasonable guarantee for employment at the end? What questions would you ask and what factors would you take into account? Flights between both places and home cost basically the same, for example. Both schools have the same school color, though School B has a cooler mascot. I'm tossing up a poll in the sidebar, but do leave a comment with your rationale.