I rent a townhouse on Santana Row and I dont regret a dime of it. No maintenance, no liability, no poolboy for my wife to screw, no gardeners, no AC to replace... we dont even have to pay to have our carpets cleaned.
People look at their house as equity but its really not. Sure, you have a home worth a million dollars. You dont HAVE a million dollars. If you sell your house; THEN you have a million dollars.... and nowhere to live. And at my current rate, I would have to live at my place for 1000 months to equal a decent (starter) home in the bay area. For those of us playing the home game: thats 83 years! And thats before you get into maintenance and property tax.
Everyone I know under 40 who has bought a house here and isnt a millionaire regrets it fiercely. I know its different in other parts of the country but here it seems like a no-brainer.