We moved to West Kelowna in April last year. I don't know much about living in other areas although we have travelled a fair bit since we've been here. From Okanagan North you have Vernon, travelling down the map you have Lake Country area, then Kelowna, then Westbank, then Peachland, Summerland, Penticton with a few little places on the way. Where's best? Depends what you want.
Outdoors: Vernon is good for outdoors stuff. Still smaller than Kelowna and it shows in their outlook. Kelowna is also very central for all outdoors stuff. Vernon has Silver Star pretty close by (20 mins) Kelowna (depending on where you live) has Big White approx 30 - 40 mins away. I board, Big White is awesome.
City Life: Kelowna. If you wants some nicer clothes, bars and restaurants this is your only choice. Some find Kelowna a bit snooty compared to other towns in the area. Kelowna is more expensive too (not compared to UK though)
Quiet Life: Peachland is really nice. There are also a ton of places that are a bit more out of the way but close to the main cities like Enderby is Vernon. If you want rural there is lots of choice but someone may be better placed to give you a proper idea of what they are like.
Lake Country (the place) is around 20 minutes from Kelowna.
Rutland is not that good a place to live in Kelowna. I am sure it's nice but not the nicest. West Kelowna Estates and The Mission are probably the best and certainly more expensive. We have a good friend who is a Realtor that you could email without hassle. She can give you the lowdown on all of Okanagan from house point of view. She is young, fun, enthusiastic and the BEST person to go house shopping with. She also knows the UK move to Canada issues and was a massive help when we moved. House prices in Kelowna $300k very minimum to $10 million.
The Bridge: New bridge being built due to open in July 2008. Will make the trffic jams better. They are not too bad at the moment though. Better than arund Birmingham thats for sure!!! Expect a 20 min slow movement in an average peak times. I have not had it worse than that this year. I live on the Westside in West Kelowna Estates and work a lot in Kelowna.
Am I happy I chose Kelowna??? Yes. I love it here. My second choice would be Vernon. Nelson is nice but seems not as nice as people say, weather is not as good and it is more out on its own.
Horses for courses though!!!