Please, Please don't take this as a put down or as a nasty post. I am just passing on my impressions. That's all.
We made it to Bennington and was not prepared for what we saw.
The downtown was sort of quaint I suppose, but mostly just a glorified intersection. There appeared to be nothing close to the type of housing I expected. We stopped at a realtor and I asked if there were neightborhoods of houses in the $350,000 range or so.
I was told no, and that there is virtually no new housing. We drove around Bennington and I didn't see a single area that I would describe as some place I would want to live, although I did see some probably very pricey houses near the college for sale.
I would describe what I saw as something like the deep south but without the humidity.
We decided Vermont was not for us as 60 years of living in New Jersey has evidently left it's mark on our expectations.